Let me start by saying I know rabbit probably isn't a common dish for many of you, but we eat it all the time as P's parents raise the little guys for food. You could easily do this recipe with chicken, though, so please don't be put off by the bun'.
This week's What's Cooking Wednesday will mark a first around here as I decided to post an entire meal--mostly because once I put a plate together last night, it looked so darn good, I couldn't resist.
So, here we have rabbit with rosemary, roasted potatoes, garlic bread, and salad with red onion. Let's take it from the top with all the ingredients you'll need for everything.
1 rabbit cut into pieces
6 medium potatoes (serves 2-3 people)
6 cloves garlic
white wine vinegar
1 red onion for salad (optional)
First preheat the oven to about 400°F (205°C). Peel and cut the potatoes into wedges, and put them in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season them with black pepper, peperoncino, a few sprigs of rosemary, and a generous amount of salt. Don't be afraid of the seasonings here; it takes a lot to overseason potatoes (except with the peperoncino, depending on how hot you like them).
Put them in the oven, and just let them do their thing. Every now and again, give them a shake and turn them around a bit. They should take about an hour and fifteen minutes to roast, and if you want them crispy on the outside but soft in the middle (how I like them but P doesn't), it'll take a little longer. The other option to shorten cooking time is to raise the heat from the get-go.
Let the potatoes sit for a few minutes before you eat as they are extremely, extremely hot out of the oven. Bet you knew that.
Rabbit with Rosemary
If the rabbit (or chicken) isn't cut into pieces, that needs to be done first. P's in charge of all things bunny around here, so he does this, and I have no tips to offer. Although a lot of people marinate the rabbit, we don't, and I really like it better this way because you taste more of the rabbit and less of the seasonings, but to each her own.
Put a generous amount of olive oil (5 tablespoons) in a frying pan and sauté 4 garlic cloves on medium heat until lightly golden brown and then remove.* Add rabbit pieces, seasoning with black pepper, peperoncino, salt, and rosemary sprigs. Once one side of the bunny is browning, flip, and let the other side brown as well.
Turn down the heat to low, add about a half cup of white wine vinegar, and let rabbit simmer for another fifteen to twenty minutes or so, or until the inside is no longer pink. If your rabbit is sucking in all the liquid too quickly, add some hot water, but only if absolutely necessary.
*For a special treat, add some pancetta/bacon to the garlic at the beginning; this adds a great smoky taste.
Note that the entire rabbit portion of the meal will probably take about forty-five minutes, so you can try to time it with the potatoes accordingly.
About five minutes before you will eat, you should put the bread in the oven. You can use a fancy broiler if you have, but I just used the heat from the potatoes and set the oven on its lowest setting for the bread.
Use thin slices of preferably Italian bread, and smear on a little butter or drizzle a little olive oil, depending on your taste. Peel a couple of garlic cloves and cut in half; use the halves to rub onto the bread.
Put in the oven, and remove when toasted to your liking--a light golden brown is usually good.
Salad with Red Onion
OK, you probably don't need instructions here, but for the sake of a complete meal, I'll describe what I did.
Wash the salad greens and tear into bite size chunks. Cut a red onion into chunks and mix with greens. For the dressing, drizzle olive oil and white wine vinegar on top and then add salt and a pinch of sugar. Toss salad and serve.
And there you have an entire meal, ready in about an hour and a half from start to finish.