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Nickel & Nickel
John C. Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon,
Oakville, Napa Valley
by Executive Chef Robert Curry, Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California
Ingredients (Serves 4)
RED WINE JUS
RABBIT AND VEGETABLE RAGOUT
Heat peanut oil to 350 F. Fry basil until crisp and translucent (this will occur very quickly) and drain on paper towels. Place the basil and panko in a food processor bowl and mix until smooth, bright green and dry to the touch. Pass through a tamis.
Over medium-low heat, reduce the cream by half and set aside. In a small saucepot, add garlic, cover with cold water and bringto a boil. Repeat twice, or until the garlic is tender. Slice garlic andadd to the cream.
Brush squares with egg wash and bake until crisp and the edges start to lightly brown.
Place the vinegar and mustard in a small bain-marie. Slowly add the olive oils while mixing with an immersion blender to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with frisee prior to final assembly.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut the onion, carrot and leek into medium dice. In a medium saucepot, sweat the vegetables and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent and soft. Add the half-bottle of red wine and reduce by half, about 30-45 minutes. Add the veal and chicken stocks and bring to a simmer, skimming scum off the surface often.
Heat a pan and add remaining olive oil and rabbit bones. When the bones start to gain color, place the pan in the oven. Roast the bones until golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Add the bones to the sauce and deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of red wine. Add the deglazed fond to the sauce, and reduce the sauce by half, about 30-45 minutes. Strain the sauce, discarding bones and vegetables, and continue to reduce to desired consistency. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of red wine. Season with salt and pepper, and pass through chinois.
Set the rabbit loins aside. Heat oven to 400 F and wrap the exposed leg bones with aluminum foil. Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper.
Heat a large saute pan and add the rabbit legs and 1 ounce olive oil, careful not to overcrowd. Over medium heat, saute the legs on the presentation side until golden. Turn the legs and place the pan in the oven. Roast until almost cooked, about 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of the rabbits.
Meanwhile, cut the rabbit loins into large dice and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the legs from the oven and brush the presentation side of the legs with Dijon mustard. Push the mustard-coated side of the legs into the herb crust, knocking off any excess. Return the legs to the oven for about 3-4 minutes. Then, return the pan to the stove top and cook over medium heat until golden. Add the diced rabbit loins and cook until they also begin to golden. Add the garlic, thyme and mushrooms. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the red wine vinaigrette and the red wine jus. Reduce the jus by about half. Add butter, parsley and peas and reduce until the ragout is glazed but still moist.
To assemble, remove the foil from the legs. Split each puff pastry square in two and place the bottom halves of the pastry on four plates, reserving the tops. Spoon garlic cream on each puff pastry square. Place ragout on top of the garlic cream and top that with frisee tossed in sherry vinaigrette. Finally, place the puff pastry on top of each and lay a rabbit leg alongside.