Roast rabbit and fennel may be considered an adventurous dish for some. Rabbit is extremely popular in many places in the world and the tiny country of San Marino is no exception. This was my first attempt at making rabbit and was happy with the results.
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.
Did you know that the tiny country of San Marino is completely surrounded by Italy, it has only one neighbor. If you would like to learn more about the tiny country of San Marino be sure to check out “Our Journey to San Marino“. You will also find more delicious and authentic recipes.
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Roast Rabbit and Fennel (conigilio al forno con Finnoccio)
Roast rabbit and fennel might seem like an adventurous dish for some, but I was pleasantly surprised. You just might find that rabbit is pretty tasty.
- 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.