Tonight we were supposed to cook venison, but we of course didn't get what our chef ordered, so instead we cooked rabbit. Luckily, it was already quartered for us. But have you ever seen a skinned whole rabbit? Not to gross some of you out, but I always tell people it looks like a cat. But it was weird, when Chef talked about it, he described the bone structure as similar to chicken - the front legs are much shorter than the back.
Tonight we made Corn Chowder, Lapin a la Moutarde, Sauce Gastrique, and Lentilles Vertes
Render bacon fat from lardons (do not brown bacon), reserving lardons for garnish. Add onions, celery, carrots and leek to bacon fat, sweat until soft and translucent. Add garlic and sweat until fragrant. stir in flour to make a white roux. Add stock and bring to a gentle boil; soup will thicken. Lower to simmer and add potato, corn and herbs, and cook until potatoes are tender. Finish with a few tablespoons of cream. Adjust seasoning and garnish with red pepper coulis.
Lapin a la Moutarde, Sauce Gastrique, and Lentilles Vertes
Season rabbit with salt and pepper. Toss the pieces in mustard until well coated, then dust with flour. Sear both sides, remove and reserve. Saute onions until soft and translucent, then add garlic. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. Return rabbit pieces to pan, then add enough stock to cover 2/3. Cover and maintain a low simmer until tender. Remove rabbit to a plate and keep warm.
Serve with Sauce Gastrique: Heat sugar and water until caramel is a rich amber color. Deglaze with wine and vinegar and add orange juice concentrate, red currant jelly (optional), and dried cherries. Reduce by half while stirring to dissolve caramel. Add the veal stock and simmer until nappe. Monter au beurre if desired.
Cook lentils. Basically, boil in water until tender.
Rabbit is tasty. And so are green lentils. I love lentils. Especially lentil soup. But eating them this way, as a starch alone, is really good too! Just make sure you season well, or they are really dry.
Oh, and just in case you were concerned, these are not the same bunnies/rabbits you buy in pet stores. These are raised for eating, they aren't soft, fluffy, and fat (or smelly and mean if you ask me) like the ones in the store.