Rabbit Saddle with Oven-Dried Grapes and Sunchokes

Rabbit Saddle with Oven-Dried Grapes and Sunchokes

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Credit: Octavio Becerra, Chef/Owner, Jason Mattick, Executive Chef, Palate Food + Wine, Glendale, Calif.
The National Culinary Review, February 2012


1 bunch seedless black California grapes
1 t. thyme, divided
1 cup extra virgin olive oil + more, as needed
Salt and pepper, as needed
8 oz. sunchokes, divided
2 T. heavy cream
4 oz. spigarello or baby kale
¼ cup sliced garlic
1 chili d’arbol
1 whole (4 lb.) rabbit, to yield 2 lbs. rabbit
¼ lb. smoked bacon
¼ lb. pistachio, toasted
¼ lb. Zante currants, in walnut liqueur
½ cup shallots, minced, cooked until translucent
¼ cup garlic, minced, cooked until translucent
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup tarragon, chopped
¼ cup chervil, chopped
3 oz. prosciutto, sliced
3 oz. purple mustard
1 cup rabbit cuisson (reduced rabbit stock)
3 oz. in-house churned butter (use fine butter)


1. Toss grapes with thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Oven-dry at 250ºF for about 4 hours, or until raisin-like.

2. Toss 4 oz. sunchokes with thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Oven-roast at 375ºF for about
20 minutes; move around every 7 minutes.

3. Boil remaining sunchokes until tender. Add heavy cream; purée until smooth.

4. Saute spigarello with sliced garlic, chili and olive oil.

5. To prepare rabbit saddle: Fabricate rabbit into six parts. Remove meat from rabbit legs; grind through meat grinder with medium die. Grind bacon. Mix ground meat together with pistachio, currants, shallots, minced garlic, parsley, tarragon and chervil. Season saddle with salt and pepper; stuff with mix. Wrap with prosciutto, then plastic wrap. Lightly poach saddle in simmering water until firm to touch.

6. Remove plastic wrap from saddle; sear in cast iron pan. Rest 10 minutes. Slice for service.

7. To plate: Paint plates with purple mustard. Put sunchoke purée on top. Add sliced stuffed rabbit. Emulsify rabbit cuisson with butter; spoon over rabbit. Garnish with roasted sunchokes, spigarello and grapes.


4 servings


Game, Main Dish, The National Culinary Review

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