Rabbit with Basil Sauce

Cul de lapereau à la crème de basilic

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For

    two to three


Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About



  • the hindquarters of a domestic rabbit (1–1.2 kg (2 lb 4 oz-2 lb 10 oz) comprising the saddle and the two hind legs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine taken from the, bottle you plan to drink with the meal
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter
  • 1 small sprig of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-chopped parsley
  • 5 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • juice of ½ lemon (optional)
  • salt, pepper


  1. If you have a whole rabbit cut it in two just behind the ribs. Make one clean cut to avoid crushing and splintering the vertebrae. You can keep the front half of the rabbit for another dish, (for instance the Rabbit in Jelly). Cut halfway through between each vertebrae with the point of a knife. Remove the kidneys and the fatty parts. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the butter over the bottom of an enamelled cast-iron casserole just large enough to take the piece of rabbit, and put it in with the thyme. Cover the cocotte and cook over a very low heat for 20 minutes. Check carefully every now and then to see that the rabbit does not start to brown. If the butter turns oily, add 2 tablespoons warm water and lower the heat. Keep the pan well covered. The rabbit is perfectly cooked when a fork inserted in the thickest part of the leg produces beads of colourless liquid: if the juice is still rosy, cook for a few minutes more. When the rabbit is cooked wrap it in foil and keep warm.
  3. Raise the heat under the cocotte, add a tablespoon of chopped shallot and 3 tablespoons dry white wine, and reduce until there are about 2–3 tablespoons of liquid left. Add tablespoons cream and bring to the boil again. Whisk together tablespoons cream and the egg yolk in a bowl. Pour the contents of the bowl into the cocotte off the heat and return to the heat, whisking all the time. Bring almost to the boil and strain through a fine wire sieve into a small saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add the chopped basil and parsley to the sauce and, if you prefer a sharper flavour, the juice of half a lemon. Check the seasoning. Put the rabbit (2) on a serving dish and cover lightly with the sauce. Buttered noodles (tagliatelle) go very well with this dish.

Recommended wines

  • white wine such as Côtes de Provence, Hermitage blanc, Mâcon blanc, or Pouilly-Fuissé