With confit, the stock is replaced with a fat, the most common preparation being duck confit, although many meats are well suited to the method.
The rabbit legs are also covered in a salt cure for a few hours prior to cooking. When preparing meat for confit, seasoning it lightly and leaving the salt to penetrate the flesh for a while gives the meat a good depth of flavour. In the absence of duck fat, you can use vegetable or olive oil but the results are much less tasty.
As for how you serve the rabbit legs, they're highly versatile and pair well with seasonal vegetables as well as carrots and potatoes, although I'd suggest a good portion of asparagus topped with butter and sea salt makes the best partner.
CONFIT FARMED RABBIT LEGS WITH PARSLEY BREADCRUMBS
6 slices of dried bread, crusts removed
2tbsp finely chopped parsley
DRY SALT CURE
15g cinnamon bark
10g coriander seeds
Pinch of mild curry powder
3 whole star anise
10g caster sugar
6 farmed rabbit legs
3tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 litres duck fat, to cover the legs
4 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1 large sprig of thyme
1tbsp dijon mustard
Place the bread in a food processor with the parsley and blend until you have fine, light-green crumbs. Add a pinch of salt and place the crumbs aside.
For the salt cure, put the spices in a food processor and blend to a coarse powder, then mix in the salt and sugar. Coat the legs thoroughly and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Set the oven to 120C/gas mark 0.5. Remove the legs from the salt cure, wash them under cold water then pat dry.
Heat a heavy-based pan over a moderate heat then add the vegetable oil. Place the legs in the pan and saute on each side until the legs are golden brown, then place them in a deep, clean casserole dish. Cover the legs with the duck fat, add the garlic and thyme, then place the casserole dish in the oven for 1.5-2 hours or until the rabbit legs are very tender. Once cooked, leave in the duck fat to cool down to room temperature.
Remove the legs from the duck fat (strain the fat and refrigerate it for further use) and place them on a metal tray. Brush with the mustard and sprinkle each leg with the breadcrumbs, place them under a hot grill until the crumbs turn golden brown and serve.
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This excellently balanced wine has aromas of plum and currant giving way to flavours of red fruit and loam with a hint of coffee.
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