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Rabbit Loin and Braised Rabbit Leg with Smoked Pecan Purée

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Ingredients

2 rabbit loins, trimmed

Rabbit legs, trimmed

Olive oil

2 cups chicken stock

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

5 parsley sprigs

3 thyme sprigs

5 whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Smoked Pecan Purée

2 cups pecans

Pecan wood chips (or hickory, apple, cherry—just not mesquite as flavor would be too strong)

2 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Celery Juice

2 full celery heads, juiced (about 1 quart)

2 cups braising liquid (from rabbit)

Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad

10 Brussels sprouts, shaved thin with a mandoline

1 Bosc pear, sliced thin

½ lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Sear rabbit loins and legs in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat with olive oil.
  3. Braise meat in the chicken stock with remaining ingredients, covered, for 1½ hours in preheated oven. Remove pan from heat and leave it covered for 30 minutes.
  4. For pecan purée, smoke pecans over wood chips for 20 minutes at 215 degrees (can do this on a grill—add chips to an aluminum pan and place pecans in a pan next to it. Close cover to smoke). Transfer nuts to a pot and add chicken stock. Bring stock to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Purée in a blender and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. For celery juice reduction, in a saucepot set over medium heat reduce juice by half, yielding 1 pint of juice. Add 2 cups braising liquid from the rabbit and reduce to 1 cup.
  6. For Brussels sprout salad, toss all ingredients together and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, poach rabbit legs in remaining rabbit stock to bring to temperature for 10 minutes. After 7 minutes, add the loin to cook through, about 3 minutes. Serve with celery reduction over Brussels sprout and pear salad and top with pecan purée.
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