Oct 15th, 2008 by Amy and Jonny
So, it might be tempting fate, but an unusually warm spell of late in New York has had me craving cooler, more autumnal weather. I bought a scarf and gloves that I’ve been unable to wear unless standing in front of an open fridge, which has annoyed my wife and caused our apartment to smell of blue cheese.
So in an effort to usher in more normal weather we made a creamy rabbit stew. But you don’t need to be craving a crisp fall morning to enjoy this dish. You could just be tired and in need of some TLC.
Forget the all-in-one massage chair with natural-feeling temple flexion-pads and built-in footspa, and the crack-team of velvet finger-tipped Chinese feng-shui massage therapists, this rabbit, mushroom and tarragon stew is so soothing we’re considering bottling it and selling it at CVS (or any other cheap store of your choice). It’ll not only soothe the turmoil in your mind and body, but it’ll almost certainly relax you and help you off to a restful 9-hour sleep (or at least it did for us).
Here’s how to do it:
RABBIT, MUSHROOM AND TARRAGON STEW
What you need:
- 3 rashes of bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 box of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
- 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
- 3 sprigs of tarragon – 2 with tarragon leaves removed and chopped and 1 left whole, bruised by back of a chef’s knife
- 2 1/2 cups of white wine
- 2 heaping tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup light cream
What to do:
- Heat heavy-bottomed pan/pot to medium-high and cook bacon pieces until almost crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour bacon fat into a bowl and, starting with one tablespoon, add the fat back to the pot. Cook onion, garlic and mushroom in the bacon fat until medium-soft (about 5-6 minutes). Remove and set aside in the bowl with the bacon.
- Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Add a bit more bacon fat (or butter if you’d prefer) back to the heavy-bottomed pan and add your rabbit pieces. Sear the outside on all sides of each piece until they are nice and golden brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove to a plate for a moment.
- I know, I know… lots of removing of food from the pan. They’ll be back soon. Deglaze the bottom of your pan with wine – keep heat up to medium and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. After about a minute or so, add your chicken stock, tarragon, bruised tarragon sprig and mustard. Stir.
- Now, add back everything – rabbit, mushrooms, bacon, onions, garlic, etc. – to the pan. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium/medium-low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. After that, continue to simmer the dish uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes. It will cook down to a thicker sauce.
- Finish by stirring in the cream and fishing out the loose tarragon sprig. Enjoy!
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