Rabbit Roasted with Sweet Fennel
Ready in 1 hour 30 minutes
1 1/2 ts Dried
3 oz Pancetta; (unsmoked Italian Bacon), minced
1 ts Fennel seed; coarsely Ground
1/2 ts Salt
3/4 c Dry white wine
1 lg Onion; cut into 1 1/2″ Wedges
1/2 c Low-sodium chicken; stock
1/4 ts Pepper
5 Cloves garlic; peeled
1/4 c Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Bulbs fresh fennel; cored, Cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
2 1/2 pounds rabbit; up to 2 3/4-pound, cut Into 8 to 10 serving pieces
1/2 c Coarsely; chopped fennel
The night before cooking, rinse & dry the rabbit pieces.
Use a mortar & pestle or a knife on a cutting board to make a paste of 2 garlic cloves, the rosemary, salt & pepper.
Rub the paste over the rabbit pieces.
Put them on a plate, cover lightly with plastic wrap & refrigerate.
Heat the oven to 350.
Have ready a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold the rabbit in a single layer, with space for the vegetables.
Arrange the rabbit pieces in the pan.
Dab the rabbit pieces with any seasoning rub that may have been left on the plate.
Scatter the fennel, onion, pancetta, remaining 2 cloves garlic, fennel seed & half the fennel tops over the rabbit.
Sprinkle with the olive oil & a bit of salt & pepper.
Roast 30 minutes, basting often with the pan juices.
Pour in 1/2 cup of the wine & roast another 1 hour.
Baste often, turning the pieces occasionally.
Add a little water to the pan if the pan is dry.
Increase the heat to 450 degrees, cook until the rabbit is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Turn the rabbit & vegetable pieces & roast until golden on the other side, basting once with the pan juices, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the rabbit & vegetables to a heated platter & keep them warm in the turned off oven with the door open.
Quickly make a pan sauce by setting the roasting pan over two stove burners turned to high.
Add remaining 1/4 cup wine & the stock.
Scrape up the brown glaze from the bottom of the roasting pan as the liquids boil down by about half, 3 to 5 minutes.
Scatter the remaining fennel leaves over the rabbit.
Pass the sauce with the rabbit at the table.