Rabbit with Scallions and Garlic
Like many of the best dishes, Ezio Santin's rabbit roulade is drawn from homey traditions and elevated by the best of ingredients and fine technique. The roulades are stuffed with sauteed liver and kidney pieces, flavored with herbs, and roasted on a bed of onions and garlic. The sauce is a simple reduction of pan juices.
- Onion Marmalade
- Yellow Onions - 3 large, julienned
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Water - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
- Saddles of rabbit - 2
- Rabbit livers - 2
- Rabbit kidneys - 4
- Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Clove Garlic - 1, halved
- Bay Leaves - 8
- Thyme Sprigs - 6
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Sage leaves - 4 large
- Prosciutto - 4 slices
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons, cut into pieces
- Spring onions - 4, halved
- Shallots - 4, quartered
- Garlic Cloves - 24, lightly crushed
- Chicken Stock - 2-1/2 cups
- Dry white wine - 1-1/2 cups
- Zucchini - 1, cut lengthwise into thin strips
- Sun-dried tomatoes - 4
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
To prepare the marmalade: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the onions. Cook 30 seconds; remove with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Put the onions and butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 25 to 30 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to keep the onions from sticking. Uncover and add the water; stir to bring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook again until nearly all the water has evaporated and the onions hold their shape when mounded with a spoon. Remove; let cool. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator; bring back to room temperature before using.
To prepare the rabbit: For each rabbit saddle, cut the meat away from the backbone on each side, pulling the meat away as you cut. Cut the backbones in half crosswise; set aside. Clean the livers and kidneys, removing all veins. Cut each liver into 2-inch pieces; cut the kidneys in half. In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, 2 bay leaves, and 2 thyme sprigs. Add the liver pieces and sear 30 seconds on each side, turning with tongs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the kidneys and saute until browned. Remove the liver and kidneys from the pan; drain on kitchen towels.
Spread out the saddle meat and season with salt and pepper. Overlap two pieces of the saddle meat to form one large piece, pressing together along the seam; repeat with the other two pieces. Spread the liver and kidney pieces along one side of each large piece of meat and roll the meat around the pieces, pressing the seam together. Put an 18-inch-square piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Carefully lift one of the rolled saddles and place in the center of the paper. Season the roll with salt and pepper. Press a sage leaf along each side of the roll. Lay 2 bay leaves and a sprig of thyme on top. Wrap with 2 slices of prosciutto. Dot with half the butter. Roll up tightly in the parchment paper and twist the ends. Tie the ends tightly with string; tie the center loosely in two places to keep the paper closed. Repeat with the remaining rolled saddle.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Using two large (approximately 10 inches long by 6 inches wide) open oval casserole dishes, divide the spring onions, shallots, garlic cloves, and remaining herbs between the dishes. Place a rolled saddle packet in the center of each. Tuck a piece of backbone at each end of each dish. Pour half the stock and wine into each dish. Roast 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take the rolled saddle packets out of the dishes and set aside to rest 5 minutes.
To prepare the sauce: Combine the remaining contents of both dishes in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Lift out the large pieces with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and discard. Reduce the remaining juices until they are the consistency of heavy cream. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve; keep warm.
To prepare the zucchini: Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and add the zucchini strips; cook 30 seconds, remove with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Lift out of the water; drain on kitchen towels.
To serve: Unwrap each roll. Trim a thin slice off each end to make the ends flat, then cut each roll into four slices. Curl zucchini strips on one side of each plate and top with a sun-dried tomato. Mound onion marmalade beside the zucchini. Place two slices of rabbit roll on each plate. Stir the olive oil into the sauce and spoon over and around the slices.