Braised Rabbit with Cracked Olives

  • Yield : 4 servings
  • Prep Time : 55m
  • Cook Time : 40m
  • Ready In : 35m
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  • 2 (3 to 4 pound) rabbits
  • 8 to 12 thin slices pancetta
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 4 cups Rabbit Stock, recipe follows or Homemade Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat, recipe follows
  • 2 cups pitted green olives in brine (preferably Picholine), cracked
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Handcut Linguine, recipe follows
  • Bones 3 rabbits
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 gallons water
  • Handcut Linguine, recipe follows
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Handcut Linguine, recipe follows
  • 2 leeks, washed, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/3
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed, cut into 1/3
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken backs
  • 2 (48-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth, about 12 cups
  • 6 cups cold water


Step 1

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Place rabbit back down on cutting board. Remove any fat from the inside of the rabbit. Cut along the tailbone, keeping the knife against the bone, and detach the thigh. Repeat to cut off the second thigh, starting at the end of the tailbone. Remove liver and kidneys; discard, or save for another use. Cut through the rabbit, below the shoulder blade, to remove the foreleg. Repeat to remove the other foreleg. Turn rabbit over, and cutting along the rib bones on each side, remove loins. Repeat with remaining rabbit. Reserve bones for stock. Wrap loins from top to bottom with pancetta. Set loins aside. Season shoulders and legs with salt and pepper and coat lightly with flour. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place legs and shoulders in pan and cook until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside. Add butter, onion, celery, and carrot, and cook stirring until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree and cook 3 minutes. Pour in wine and crushed tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 12 to 14 minutes. Add stock, browned rabbit, 1 cup olives with their brine, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Transfer to oven and cook until fork tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove meat from sauce; set aside. Strain sauce through a medium sieve, discarding solids. Return sauce to Dutch oven. Heat sauce on stove until reduced to desired consistency, skimming fat if necessary. Remove meat from reserved shoulders, and discard bones. Return legs and shoulder meat to sauce. Chop remaining 1 cup olives and stir into sauce with chopped rosemary. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the sauce is reducing, heat a medium skillet over high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and heat until smoking. Add rabbit loins, and cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer loins to cutting board, and allow to rest for 1 minute before thinly slicing. Add linguine to boiling water, and cook until tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a serving platter. Top with sauce, and surround with slices of loin. Serve immediately.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place rabbit bones on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned, about 1 hour. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to brown. Add wine and cook until completely evaporated. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, browned bones, and water. Bring to a boil, add thyme sprigs, and simmer until reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Strain through a fine sieve, and discard solids. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. 

Step 3

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine both the flours and the eggs. Mix until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons water, and mix just until dough begins to form. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand until it forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for at 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1/16-inch-thick sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut pasta into ribbons. Use immediately; or cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Yield: 4 servings

Step 4

Place peppercorns, dill, parsley, bay leaves, leeks, carrots, celery, chicken, wings, and backs into a large stockpot. Add stock and 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Liquid should just bubble up to the surface. A skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim this off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. After 45 minutes, remove chicken from the pot, and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, set the meat aside, and return the bones to the pot. Shred the chicken, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Continue to simmer the stock, on the lowest heat possible, for 3 hours, skimming as needed. The chicken bones will begin to disintegrate. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a very large bowl. Discard the solids. Place the bowl in an ice bath, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. If storing, leave fat layer intact to the seal the stock. Before using, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the surface. 

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