Braised food

Braised rabbit with garlic caramel sauce and risotto

Atlanta’s Canoe offers delicious food in a beautiful riverside setting. Go there if you can get there. Otherwise, help yourself out with their braised rabbit. The lean, sweet meat really shines in a rich confit garlic sauce, over a creamy kale and goat cheese risotto. If you’ve only tried risotto arborio before, give the carnaroli rice a chance to shine and you might discover a new obsession.

Also try our herb risotto recipe and our sweet carrot risotto recipe; both would work just as well with rabbit, as with chicken, fish, or a simple green salad.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Total: 1 hour
  • active: 40 minutes

Ingredients (26)

For the rabbit:

  • 4 rabbit hind legs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces sherry vinegar
  • 24 ounces brown chicken broth
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the garlic confit sauce:

  • 8 small garlic cloves, skin removed
  • 4 ounces of sugar
  • 2 ounces of water
  • 4 ounces sherry vinegar
  • 12 ounces reserved rabbit cooking liquid

For the kale and goat cheese risotto:

  • 12 ounces of carnaroli rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 48 ounces of chicken broth
  • 4 ounces of white wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of grated parmesan
  • 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
  • 1 bunch kale shredded (cut crosswise into long, thin strips)


To make the bunny:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a medium ovenproof sauté pan, heat oil until lightly smoking. Add the seasoned rabbit to the pan and brown on both sides; you don’t want to fully cook the rabbit at this stage, just get a nice golden color.
  3. Remove rabbit from skillet, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté, stirring constantly, for another minute.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom, and return the rabbit to the pan.
  5. Add enough broth to surround but not overwhelm the rabbit.
  6. Add the sprigs of thyme and bring to a slight simmer, then cover.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until tender.
  8. Remove the rabbit from the braising liquid and strain the liquid through a strainer or fine-mesh sieve.
  9. In a separate dish, place the rabbit and cover with 1/2 of the filtered liquid. Reserve the other 1/2 of the liquid for the garlic confit sauce.

To make the garlic confit sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook to a medium caramel stage, then add the peeled garlic cloves.
  3. Cook the garlic until lightly browned in the caramel, being careful not to burn it.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar and reduce the liquid by half.
  5. Add reserved rabbit cooking liquid, simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid reaches a light gravy consistency.

To make the Kale and Goat Cheese Risotto:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the broth until almost simmering and keep warm over low heat on one side.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the oil and shallot and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, then add the rice.
  3. Gently stir the rice and “toast” the grains. This will take about 5 minutes, and when done each individual bean will look translucent but will have a small white dot in the middle. At this point, add the wine and reduce by half.
  4. Once the wine has reduced, add just enough broth to barely cover the rice and continue to stir gently until all the broth is absorbed.
  5. When the broth is absorbed, repeat this step two more times.
  6. After the third time, taste the rice and make sure it’s just gone al dente (tender but firm) and creamy.
  7. Add the kale and goat cheese and stir gently to incorporate. Once everything is well mixed, add the cubes of cold butter and the parmesan, mix again and enjoy. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve on 4 hot plates, each garnished with a piece of rabbit and garlic confit sauce.

Courtesy of Green Olive Media.