Chef Massey creates a pocket in the top of each rabbit leg by removing the upper bone, then stuffs the pocket with herbed butter. The stuffed legs are wrapped in prosciutto and browned before roasting. He serves the rabbit with roasted vegetables.
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 pound (2 sticks), at room temperature
- Chives - 6 to 8, minced
- Thyme Sprigs - 2, stemmed and minced
- Rosemary Sprigs - 3, stemmed and finely chopped
- Cilantro Sprigs - 2, stemmed and minced
- Sage Leaves - 3 to 4, minced
- Salt - 1 teaspoon, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper - 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste
- Fine Bread Crumbs - 3 tablespoons
- Rabbit legs - 2
- Prosciutto - 8 to 10 slices
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Fennel bulb - 1, cleaned and quartered
- Onions - 2 small, halved
- Butternut squash - 1, cut into 1/2-inch-thick crosswise slices, rind on
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Green Beans - 1/2 pound, cut into 4-inch lengths
To prepare the rabbit: Combine the butter and herbs in a bowl, mashing them together. Mash in a pinch of salt and pepper and the bread crumbs. Put the herbed butter on a piece of plastic wrap and roll it up, creating an 8-inch-by-2-inch log of herbed butter; twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, until firm.
Holding a rabbit leg by the lower leg bone, free the upper bone and remove it, creating a pocket in the thigh. Repeat with the other leg. Slice the herbed butter in half and unwrap one of the pieces. Hold one of the rabbit legs by the lower bone and open out the meat of the thigh, exposing the pocket. Season with salt and pepper. Press the stuffing piece into the pocket in the thigh and fold the meat back over the stuffing, sealing in the butter. Season the outside of the meat with salt and pepper. Beginning at the small end, wrap the meat with prosciutto, overlapping the pieces as you go. Use half the prosciutto. Repeat with the second rabbit leg. Set aside.
To prepare the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, onion, and squash and pan-grill until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the butter and remaining tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch square roasting pan. Add the pan-grilled vegetables, setting the skillet aside. Roast for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a small pan of lightly salted water to a boil and boil the green beans until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain; set aside and keep warm.
To finish the rabbit: Pan-sear the wrapped rabbit in the same cast iron skillet used for the vegetables until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Put the rabbit and pan juices in a small roasting pan and add the rabbit broth. Roast for 15 minutes; remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
To serve: Slice each piece of the rabbit in half. Stand the large half of each rabbit leg in the center of a serving plate. On one side of each plate, place overlapping slices of squash. Next to the squash place fennel, then onions, and finally green beans. Place the small end of the rabbit legs in the remaining space, leaning it against the meat in the center. Spoon pan juices over the rabbit and drizzle a little over the vegetables.