Pernod Braised Rabbit

Pernod Braised RabbitServes 4

1 rabbit, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, whole, slightly smashed with a knife
2 large bulbs of fennel, green stalks removed, cut into eight wedges (fattest part of wedge needs to be at least ½”)
2 sprigs of rosemary
¾ cup Pernod, or another anise-flavored liquor
4 cups of chicken or rabbit stock
1/2 cup kalamata or Nicoise olives, pits removed (optional)
1 tbsp butter

1. Place the rabbit pieces in a mixing bowl or lay out on a small platter. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil on medium-high in a cast-iron skillet, heavy bottomed pan or large pot. When the oil is hot add the seasoned rabbit pieces.

 

2. Brown the rabbit on all the sides. It should take about 10 minutes. You might have to work in batches, browning rabbit pieces and setting them aside. In the same pan place fennel wedges, brown on one side then flip, add garlic and rosemary. If your pan is smoking, lower the heat slightly or add more oil. After getting a nice color on both sides of fennel wedges and garlic add the Pernod. Once Pernod is halfway evaporated add stock.

3. Submerge rabbit pieces and let pot come to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, check the rabbit by poking through with a thermometer or wooden skewer if you get no resistance, the rabbit is ready. This could take up to 60 minutes.

4. Remove rabbit and fennel wedges from pot then filter the garlic and rosemary out of the liquid. Add the filtered liquid back to the same pot. Turn heat up to medium-high and reduce liquid by half.

5. Put rabbit pieces and fennel in the same pot or pan with the reduced sauce. Coat the rabbit with the sauce, cover, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. When hot remove the rabbit and fennel from the pan and check the seasoning once more. Whisk butter into sauce.

6. Pour the sauce over the rabbit and fennel pieces.

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