I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while now, the idea having come to me last year when I was making the old dinner party favourite (ah yes, parties -happy days) -Chicken Marbella. I like a rabbit leg-not the saddle, too fiddly- but they are sadly difficult to find. I order mine from Frenchclick, the online French supermarket where farmed bunny is readily available. You may be able to order wild rabbit from your butcher and you can, of course, use the whole rabbit for this recipe but add the breast and saddle an hour after you put the legs in the oven. I use verjus (made from unripe grapes) which is less harsh than vinegar -too much of which can overpower the rabbit. Remember to start a day in advance, the legs needing that time (and up to a further day if you like) to marinate.
- 6 rabbit legs
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 90ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons verjus (see intro)
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano or marjoram
- 100g pitted green olives
- 55g nonpareil capers, drained
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and halved
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Maldon salt
- 180ml white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- Put the rabbit legs in a large freezer bag and add all but the last three ingredients. Season with ground black pepper and mush everything together so the legs are coated in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
- Bring the rabbit out of the fridge an hour before you want to start cooking. Heat the oven to fan 150°c, mark 2. Place the legs and marinade in an ovenproof dish which is large enough to hold the rabbit in one layer. Pour in the wine and chicken stock and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Remove the foil and continue to roast for a further 20-30 minutes. Serve with olive oil pommes purée and some sautéed cabbage and pancetta.