Dolli Irigoyen uses 14-year-old balsamic vinegar to make the vinaigrette with which he accents this dish, putting in on the salads with an eyedropper. The rabbit is stewed in a seasoned broth, then marinated overnight with sage leaves. It is sliced and served over greens with the balsamic vinaigrette. The broth in which the rabbit has been cooking may be cooked down further after the rabbit is removed, then strained through cheesecloth in a fine-meshed sieve and stored as rabbit stock. Begin a day ahead to allow time for marination.
- Rabbit - 1, dressed and quartered
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Onion - 1, chopped
- Green Onions - 3, chopped
- Leek - 1, chopped
- Celery Stalks - 2, chopped
- Carrot - 1, chopped
- White peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
- Sea Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 3/4 cup
- Garlic Cloves - 4, crushed
- Cloves - 2
- Sage Leaves
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Mixed salad greens - 2 cups
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
To prepare the rabbit: Put the rabbit in a medium pot and add the chicken stock. Add water to cover and the onions, leek, celery, carrot, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer 1 hour, skimming occasionally until the rabbit is tender and ready to fall off the bones. Let cool enough to handle, then remove the rabbit with tongs and pat dry with paper towels. Pull the meat from the bones and pull off any noticeable fat or sinew; discard the bones, fat, and sinew. Place the rabbit in a non-aluminum bowl and cover with the olive oil, garlic, cloves,and sage leaves. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk the ingredients together in a non-aluminum bowl.
To serve: Remove the rabbit from the marinade and drain on paper towels. Pat dry with more paper towels. Slice the large pieces. Divide the greens among four chilled plates. Place the rabbit slices on the greens. Whisk the dressing a final time and put droplets of dressing on the rabbit. Season with freshly ground pepper.