Smoked Rabbit Confit
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Credit: Peter McCarthy, Chef, EVOO, Cambridge, Mass.
The National Culinary Review, June 2014
3 (3 lb.) rabbits, cut through rib cage, spread open
2 cups curing salt mixture (recipe follows)
1 (3 lb.) box kosher salt
6 cups granulated sugar
24 bay leaves, crumbled
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 T. ground fennel
1 t. five-spice powder
1. Liberally coat rabbit with salt cure; place in nonreactive pan large enough for rabbits to lay flat. Cover; refrigerate 2-3 days.
2. Rinse under cold water; pat dry. Smoke with hickory at 185ºF for 4 hours.
3. Cut rabbits to fit in large, heavybottomed stainless steel pot. Add enough melted rendered duck fat to completely cover rabbit. Place over low heat; gently cook for 3 hours, maintaining a temperature of 170ºF. Carefully remove rabbit from fat (can reserve fat).
4. When rabbit is cool enough to handle, pick meat from bones (there are many little bones). Reserve bones for stock. Shred meat in small strips.
5. Serving suggestion: Serve with salad of wild greens (mesclun mix can be substituted) with port-soaked cherries, pecans, shaved Vermont cheddar and a rosemary vinaigrette.
Method: Combine salt, sugar, bay, cinnamon, fennel and five-spice powder.
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