This is my attempt at “live blogging.”
I am exhausted from nine hours at law school. With the exception of an hour-and-a-half gap in between for lunch and socialization, I was at it all day. With finals coming up, there is a distinct change in the atmosphere at school… people are definitely getting more stressed.
Nonetheless, I finished my civ pro assignment for tomorrow, put my books in my locker, and set for home.
I am cutting vegetables I bought at Eastern Market yesterday. The rabbit recipe calls for two red bell peppers–I bought one red bell pepper that was streaked with green (yum!) and, for variety, two big sweet red peppers. (I cut those into pieces and, because they looked so good, ate a piece… SO delicious! I could almost eat those like fruit.) I bought a small onion. Some mushrooms. 16 kalamata olives. I had garlic at home, a big can of chopped tomatoes from Trader Joe’s… flour, check. Bay leaves, rosemary, thyme… check.
The rabbit is extremely meaty. It doesn’t look so tough, either–probably didn’t spend its days foraging on some lonesome meadow a la Watership Down. The butcher cut it into six pieces–two hindquarters, two midsections/ribs, and two forequarters.
Rabbit has been compared in taste to chicken… it seems that way, actually, although it has a certain characteristic of its own. I wouldn’t call it gamy, because it’s not. It’s just… well, I dunno… all I can say is that it’s the type of meat that would go well with dried herbs and rustic wines.
Okay–I cut up the vegetables, I patted the rabbit down with salt, pepper, thyme, and flour, and browned the pieces in my wonderful cast iron skillet. I recommend cookware from Lodge, which is very affordable and comes pre-seasoned. You can buy those pans at Amazon.com, like I did, and not have to pay shipping for orders over $25. (Believe me, that saves a LOT of money… my pan weighs a ton.)
I removed the rabbit from the pan, then fried the onions, then added the rest of the vegetables (sans the olives). I put the rabbit back into the pan, added a bay leaf, some rosemary, more thyme, and then topped it all off with the can of tomatoes. Then, I closed the lid and will now wait for 35 minutes. I might get some contracts reading done…
I am also trying some of the Clos La Coutale I mentioned in my previous post. Very herbaceous… taste some mushroom… strangely, get an avocado sensation. High acidity, more than I remember from last time. Might need to open up a little. Not unpleasant, though–still pretty good.
Done. I uncovered the pan, turned up the heat, and added chopped kalamata olives. I also heated up some Trader Joe’s polenta (from a tube, I know, but still good in a pinch). I plated the food: a mount of polenta, then a piece of rabbit, then a ladle of vegetable stew. I brought a plate for myself and my roommate out to the dining room table. Then, the moment of truth: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! The vegetables and herbs married well together, and the rabbit was sublime, very tender and flavorful.
Rabbit, I realized, actually tastes and feels a lot like duck.
One thing about rabbit is that its bones–well, are like a mammal’s. Four legs, vertebra, etc. It’s not like eating a piece of chicken. My roommate–a recovering life-long vegetarian–had a bit of trouble with the bones: otherwise, the rabbit was good, he claimed.
I would definitely make this dish again. I would consider making it with chicken breast for a “safer” dinner, but I would strongly recommend trying this recipe with rabbit as called for.
The wine was decent–it didn’t open up as I had hoped it would. It tasted a bit thin, actually. Luckily, I’ve experienced the wine a few times before, and this bottle was probably an anomaly. Oh, the dangers of drinking imported French wine and cooking strange meats!
(P.S. I don’t currently have a digital camera–it’s at HOME home–so I had to take these pictures using my phone camera. Sorry for the poor quality!)