Rabbit and Saffron Rice

Like me, you have probably got a cupboard or a drawer full of dried herbs, spices, nuts and fruit. Use them in this very fragrant dish. It is marvellous for putting in a slow oven and forgetting about while you go to the cinema. The oven does not need to be preheated so you can even do this on an automatic timer. For preference, cook in a very well soaked clay pot, a chicken brick or a Römertopf


  • pinch of saffron threads or ¼ tsp powdered saffron
  • 1 large mild onion
  • 1 large rabbit, jointed (use the hindlegs, shoulders and saddle, cut into 3 or 4 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp sultanas or chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp blanched almonds or pinenuts
  • 8 oz / 230 g patna or basmati rice
  • 2 in / 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pt / 570 ml chicken, rabbit, veal or vegetable stock


Soak the saffron threads, if using, in a small amount of boiling water. Peel and slice the onion, and place in the bottom of the clay pot. Put the rabbit pieces on top with the sultanas and nuts. Pour the rice in, shaking it down into the spaces, and add the powdered saffron or saffron threads and soaking liquid. Tuck the cinnamon stick and bay leaves well down into the casserole, and pour on the stock. Cover and cook slowly in the bottom half of the oven at 150°C / 300°F / Mark 2 for 2–2½ hours.