I don't like to brag. Wait, that's a lie -- when it comes to food and it's good and I made it, I can actually be a little braggy. Anyhow, I will brag that this is one of the best rabbit dishes I have made to date. It is sweet and salty and juicy/tender. The rabbit meat is delicate and takes the brine nicely, and the sweet roasted carrots are a great companion. I recommend serving this with a simple nutty grain accompaniment (we had red quinoa and bulgur). Also, just FYI: Ginger likes it too -- what JRT wouldn't enjoy some bunny and carrots! Easter Dinner is ready to roll!!!
This looks like a long ingredient list, but once you have everything in place you can roll through cooking this in no time. —aargersi
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Aargersi introduced us to her Coconut Tres Leches cake. Our lives have never been the same.
WHAT: A meal that’s worth bragging about.
HOW: Soak rabbit pieces in a sweet and salty brine for several hours, then dredge them in flour and brown them on the stove. Make a fragrant wine and stock mixture, add the rabbit and carrots tossed with maple syrup, and bake for 40 minutes. While the rabbit rests, celebrate your accomplishments. Then eat.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Here’s a dish to make you feel like a class act. You'll fill your home with an incredible smell, impress your friends (or your imaginary audience) with a bubbling baking dish, and feel clever for pairing rabbit with carrots. —The Editors
whole rabbit cut into 8 pieces
whole white peppercorns
whole black peppercorns
water plus 3 cups ice
kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons more for the flour
Is your rabbit cut up for you? If not, cut off the hoppers and the front legs (I do this with kitchen shears). Then remove the spine and portion the saddle into 4 pieces. There is a side flap that you can either leave loose (I do, I am lazy) or use to create a roll that you can secure with a toothpick.
Make the brine: Toast the peppercorns and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan for a few minutes until they are fragrant. Pour in the water, then add the salt and sugar. Bring it to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar, then turn off the heat. Add the ice. Put the rabbit pieces in a large container and pour the cool brine over top. Refrigerate for several hours (this is a good morning task -- do the rest at dinner time)
Heat the oven to 325° F. Get out your biggest oven-ready skillet (alternatively, you can brown in a skillet and then move the rabbit to a baking dish). Mix the flour with the 2 remaining teaspoons of salt and the ground pepper in a shallow dish. Remove the rabbit from the brine and try to get most of the peppercorns off. Pat it dry, then dredge each piece in flour. Melt the butter over medium-high heat and then place the rabbit pieces in the pan. Don't overcrowd them -- you will likely need to do this in batches. Brown each piece on both sides until golden brown, then remove from the pan.
When all of the rabbit is browned, add the garlic and shallots to the pan and brown them for just a couple of minutes. Add the wine, then stock, and scrape all of the good stuff off the bottom of the pan. Allow this to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Now add the rabbit back in with the liquids. Toss the carrots and maple syrup together, then position them amongst the rabbit pieces. Add the sage leaves, hit it with a bit more pepper, then cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 30 more. Finish the rabbit by turning the oven to 375° F and cooking for 10 more minutes. Then remove it from the oven and allow it to rest while you take eleventy billion pictures. Remove the sage leaves before eating.
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage https://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbiesGarage?ref=search_shop_redirect