Braised Rabbit with Leeks and Prunes

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If you don’t have young leeks, cut large ones in quarters lengthwise.

Ingredients

  • 4 rabbit legs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Armagnac or good brandy
  • 1 cup mirepoix
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, stemmed, stems and leaves saved
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 cup stock, chicken or mixed chicken and veal
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 prunes, pitted
  • 6 young leeks, trimmed and washed
  • 1 tablespoon rose or pink peppercorns

Method

Season the rabbit legs. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the rabbit and lightly brown the legs on both sides. Pour in the Armagnac and flame it. Put the mirepoix around the rabbit legs; add the tarragon stems and bouquet garni. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the stock and white wine. Cover and simmer very slowly until the legs are very tender, about another 45 minutes.

Take the legs out, cover, and keep warm. Strain the cooking juices; discard the vegetables and bouquet garni. Return the juices to the pan and reduce by half.

Add the cream, prunes, tarragon leaves, and leeks to the sauce. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the pink peppercorns and rabbit legs with any juices that have collected.

Simmer for 5 minutes more, turning the rabbit legs a couple of times in the cream sauce. Check the sauce for seasoning and serve.

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