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French Food Recipes: Rabbit with Merguez Sausage and Chestnuts

This is a great winter weather recipe.  I love the rabbit meat with spicy lamb merguez sausage and roasted chestnuts.  The recipe was inspired by a recipe found in an old french cookbook.  As usual, we have changed the recipe considerably.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

One rabbit

5 tablespoon of rendered duck fat or foie gras fat

2 to 3 shallots finely chopped

Salt
 and Pepper

1 tablespoon of flour

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 medium size bouquet garni: parsley and thyme sprigs plus one bay leaf tied together.  (Any combination of herbs may be used including basil, chervil, tarragon, rosemary depending on your taste)

1 1/2 pounds of roasted canned or packaged chestnuts, peeled

Six Merguez sausages

Instructions

Cut the rabbit in approximately 12 – 15 small pieces. Removing the bigger bones of the legs is optional.  Put the duck fat into a pan over medium heat, and add the shallots.  When the shallots are lightly brown, add the pieces of rabbit and sauté until nicely brown and cooked through.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside.  Add a tablespoon of flour, and cook, stirring until golden.  Add the stock, salt and pepper, and the bouquet garni.  Add the chestnuts and cook uncovered for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Put the rabbit back in the pan for about 5 mintues, to reheat.  Remove the bouquet garni.
meanwhile, brown the Merguez separately in a different pan with a little oil, do not cut or poke the sausages to keep the juice inside as much as possible.

To serve, put two or three pieces of rabbit and some chestnuts on a plate, with sauce, one Merguez and a little bit of the Merguez juice from the frying pan.  Garnish with some mache or other greens or serve with braised endives.

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