“If you purchased whole rabbits, save the bones to make stock. if you have the rabbit loins, you can lightly bread, pan-fry, and slice them for a wonderful addition to the top of this stew.”- Chef Scott Crawford
Cured Rabbit Legs
- Combine all ingredients, except rabbit, to make cure. Mix well. Coat rabbit legs well in cure, place on sheet tray, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, rinse legs well and pat dry. Lay on a paper towel-lined plate and dry in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
* You can use loins rather than legs; they take much less time (30 minutes–1 hour).
Crispy Oats and Sage
- Preheat oven to 200–250 degrees.
- Place quinoa, buckwheat, and rice in separate pots and cover each with 1 inch water. Bring all to hard simmer and cook until very tender. Strain grains with fine-mesh strainer and lay on parchment-lined trays. Place trays in oven, stirring and checking frequently. Grains are finished when they look to be roughly 90 percent dehydrated.
- Place vegetable oil in deep-sided pot. Note: oil should be 1½ inches deep, with 4 inches between top of oil and top of pot. Place over medium-high heat until it reaches 400 degrees.
- While oil is heating, line a tray with paper towels. Place quinoa into very dry strainer and lower carefully into oil. Quinoa will puff within 10 seconds, so quickly pull up strainer, shake off excess oil, and lay on prepared tray. Season lightly while still hot. Repeat process with the buckwheat and rice.
- In a bowl, mix together grains with sunflower seeds and oats.
- In sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high until it is deep-amber in color and has a nutty aroma. Allow to slightly cool. Add pecans to butter and return to medium heat. Stir until toasted and crunchy. Add sage to hot butter and pecans and fry for just a second.
- Pour butter mixture into bowl with grains and stir to incorporate. Season to taste and lay mixture out on paper towel-lined tray to cool.
Sweet Potato Dumplings
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roast sweet potato on baking tray until completely tender, about 1 hour. Cut potato in half lengthwise and scrape out flesh. Spread flesh out on paper towel-lined tray and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Combine 1 cup cooked potato with ricotta, egg, yolk, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Lightly mix.
- Add flour and fold lightly until combined, being careful not to overwork dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, place large pot of salted water on stove and bring to hard simmer.
- Prepare an ice bath and have a spider strainer ready. Swirl water and with 2 spoons, drop small dumpling-size bits of dough directly into the water, working in batches to ensure even cooking.
- When dumplings float, pull one from water and taste to see if done.
- Once cooked, transfer dumplings to ice bath to cool completely and then to an oiled, parchment-lined tray. Reserve dumplings in refrigerator.
- Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add rabbit legs and sear on both sides until deep golden-brown. Add onion, carrot, celery, and parsnip. Lightly season and sweat vegetables.
- Add herbs, sweet potato, and stock, and reduce heat to low. Cover and stir occasionally.
- Once legs are tender, about 3 hours, remove from pan and pull meat from bones. Return meat to pan. Remove herb sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in mustards and adjust seasoning to taste. Let cool overnight.
- To serve, add cooked dumplings to stew and reheat slowly. Once hot, pour into bowls. Top with Crispy Oats and Sage and fresh herbs.