I was able to find a rabbit in the frozen section of my local Asian market. Honestly I was a little hesitant to make it as I just love watching rabbits play all around where I live. In my quest for authentic recipes, I decided to go for it. If you are adverse to cooking a rabbit, this recipe would also be wonderful with chicken, just use chicken pieces on the bone.
The first thing I had to figure out was how to cut the rabbit up. I did a search on youtube and found several informative sites to guide me. It was pretty much the same theory as cutting up a chicken, cutting in between joints. I managed to get it cut up into about 8 small pieces. If you are not making to many other dishes to go with this, I would recommend 1 rabbit for 2-3 people. I made it for four which was fine because I had made several other dishes as well, but it would probably not have been enough it was the solo dish.
I also highly recommend seasoning the rabbit the night before you plan to cook it. It really helps impart a wonderful flavor to the rabbit. When you cook it the fennel and onion will make your kitchen smell heavenly. I think it would be lovely with a side of garlicky mashed potatoes as well. The fennel and onions are served with the rabbit as the veggies. In the end, I really think you will love this roast rabbit and fennel recipe.
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Roast Rabbit and Fennel (conigilio al forno con Finnoccio)
- 1 rabbit cut into 8 pieces
- or 8 chicken thighs
Seasoning the Rabbit
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/8 t. pepper
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Cooking the Rabbit
- 2 bulbs fennel cut into 1 wedges
- 1 large onion cut into 1 wedges
- 3 oz. pancetta minced
- 2 cloves of garlic split
- 1 t. fennel seeds
- 1/2 c. coarsely chopped fennel leaves
- 4 extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1/4 c. white wine
- 1/2 c. chicken stock
- Put the seasoning ingredients into a blender to make a paste.
- Rub on the rabbit pieces, and refrigerate overnight in a zip lock.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Use a roasting pan or baking dish large enough to hold the rabbit pieces and onions and fennel.
- Place fennel, onion, pancetta, garlic, and fennel seeds around and between the pieces, and put half the fennel leaves on top.
- Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast 30 minutes.
- Add wine, and roast for another hour.
- Baste every 15 minutes with pan juices. If pan becomes too dry, add more wine or water.
- Raise the heat to 450.
- Cook 15 more minutes until rabbit becomes golden brown.
- Turn rabbit pieces, and roast another 15 minutes, basting once more.
- The fennel and onions should be tender and nicely browned.
- Transfer rabbit and vegetables to a heated platter and keep warm in the oven while you make a sauce.
- Set the roasting pan over burners on high heat, and de-glaze with the wine and stock.
- Scrape any brown pieces from pan and boil down liquid to about half.
- De-glaze for 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining fennel leaves over rabbit as a garnish and serve sauce alongside rabbit.