As I have said before, I am currently in culinary school and it is taking up much of my time. This term is focusing on meats, which so far has been very interesting. We have made all the basics: chicken breast, stuffed chicken leg, pork chops, veal, the largest prime rib-eye I have ever seen, and we have ventured into offals. We have started on game meats, specifically rabbit, which we just learned last week. Being so close to Easter I thought it would be darkly humorous to prepare this dish for my family’s Easter dinner. Mom agreed, although she did show some sensitivity to the rabbit equating the Easter Bunny. The rest of the family had no choice.
Now, before you go thinking I’m a terribly heartless person: I did not, repeat did not, choose rabbits of the egg-laying variety. So no Easter Bunny, or future member of the Easter Bunny family was consumed by my family yesterday. That being said, I did serve my rabbit with carrot pasta. You know, because rabbits like carrots. :p
The carrot pasta was fun to make, and a neat departure from regular white pasta. All you do is replace the eggs with carrot juice in the pasta dough. I grated and squeezed my carrots by hand, but a juicer of some sort would work well. The ratio is one large carrot, or about 1/4 cup carrot juice, to one cup flour. If you’ve made pasta before, then you know there is no set liquid to flour ratio. You just add liquid and knead the dough until you reach your desired consistency. A way to remember the proper consistency is to gently press your earlobe between your thumb and index finger. This is what the dough should feel like. Generally it takes 10-20 minutes of kneading.
The rabbit wasn’t easy to find. Only a few butchers in my area keep it on hand. More than likely you’ll find it skinned and frozen. Rabbit tastes like a gamier version of chicken or turkey. Yes, you can make this dish with chicken legs if you’re not adventurous.
My family enjoyed the dish, even if a few people were hesitant at first. Even those that weren’t interested in eating rabbit couldn’t deny how great the house smelled as it was cooking.Mom decided that I was being too adventurous (although she called it snobby!) with the menu, so she took dessert away from me and decided to make this fun “Easter Cake” instead.
Happy belated Easter to all!
- 6 Rabbit Legs
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 3 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
- 5-7 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 10-15 Parsley Stems with leaves
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- -Heat oven to 350
- -Heat oil over high heat in skillet that is just large enough to hold all legs.
- -Pat rabbit legs dry, season with salt and pepper.
- -Cook legs in oil until golden brown on each side, about 7 minutes per side.
- -Remove to plate.
- -Drain excess oil from pan.
- -Add onions to hot pan, cook until translucent.
- -Mix in both mustards, add rabbit back to pan, coat in mustard.
- -Add stock halfway up legs, top with thyme and parsley, sprinkle on
- more salt and pepper, if needed.
- -Cover pan and place in oven for 45 minutes.
- -Remove from oven and place back on stove over medium heat.
- -Remove rabbit to plate.
- -Remove and discard herbs and onions.
- -Slowly drizzle heavy cream into liquid in pan.
- -Add rabbit back into pan and coat with sauce.
- -Add in carrot pasta to coat with sauce just before serving.