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Southern-fried Rabbit Legs
Southern-fried Rabbit Legs
added by Winter's on the way

The rabbit here is pre-cooked as a confit – that is, braised in fat. This ensures the meat remains lovely and moist. The crisp, golden-brown, fried legs are delicious dipped in spiced, garlicky mayonnaise – you can make your own, using the recipe here, or add some crushed garlic and spices to a good shop-bought brand.

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  • Serves 4
  • • 8 rabbit back legs
  • • 1 onion, sliced
  • • 1 whole head of garlic, broken into cloves and roughly smashed
  • • a few sprigs rosemary
  • • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • • good pinch of ground coriander
  • • good pinch of ground cumin
  • • 1 star anise
  • • lots of sunflower oil, for the confit and for deep-frying
  • • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • • 2 eggs
  • • 150g fine breadcrumbs
  • • A good pinch of cayenne pepper
  • • A good pinch of smoked paprika
  • • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the spiced mayonnaise:
  • • 2 garlic cloves
  • • lemon juice
  • • 1 heaped tsp English mustard
  • • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • • 4 egg yolks
  • • a pinch each of salt, sugar and black pepper
  • • 250ml light olive oil
  • • 250ml groundnut or sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put the rabbit legs into an oven dish in which they will fit quite snugly in one layer. Add the sliced onion and tuck in the rosemary and garlic. Sprinkle over the fennel, coriander and cumin and tuck in the star anise. Pour over enough sunflower oil to just cover the meat. Cover the surface with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then cover the whole dish with foil. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 140C/gas 1. Cook for a further hour, then check the meat. If it’s tender, you can stop cooking now. If not, return it to the oven and check again in half an hour. You might need to cook it for anything up to 2 ½ hours in total. Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise. Crush the garlic cloves to a paste with a good pinch of salt and place in a bowl. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, the mustard, spices, thyme and yolks, then season with pepper and sugar and whisk together. Combine the two oils in a jug. Start whisking the oil very gradually into the yolk mixture: start with just a few drops, then a few more and gradually increase to a very thin stream. Keep whisking all the time so the oil is emulsified into the yolks. When you’ve added all the oil, adjust the seasoning with more spices, salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice if necessary. Cover and chill until needed. Take the cooked rabbit legs out of the oil. Let the excess run off, then transfer the legs to a cooling rack with a cloth or kitchen towel underneath it. Leave to drain and cool. Season the flour and put in a shallow dish. Lightly beat the eggs and put in a second dish. Put the breadcrumbs in a third dish and season generously with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Take each cooled rabbit leg and dust it with flour, then dip it in egg, then cover it with breadcrumbs, patting them on to form an even coating. Heat about a 10cm depth of sunflower oil in deep, heavy saucepan or deep-fat fryer until it reaches 170C (when a cube of bread dropped into the oil will turn golden brown in about 1 minute). Deep-fry the breadcrumbed rabbit legs, two or three at a time, for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and piping hot in the middle. Drain briefly on kitchen paper, then serve straight away with the garlicky mayonnaise or another dip of your choice.
3 replies
Replied on

I decided to have a go at making this today as I had a couple of legs in the freezer, what a treat it was, I left out the star anise as I'm not keen on aniseed, I thought I'de put in enough Paprika and Cayenne pepper to season the breadcrumbs but I feel I could have put in more, which I will do next time, if you want a change from Rabbit stew then this is worth a try, thanks Tim for this excellent recipe.

Replied on

I've made "southern fried rabbit" a few times now but I tried doing it braised in fat first (rather than just frying or boiling first) and I have to say it was delicious! I messed around with the recipe a little (different spices/herbs and also used the saddle) but the "confit" pre-cooking was a great idea, lovely and moist, mildly flavoured, perfect! Thanks!

Replied on

Full Marks,a new twist to a delicious meal.
all I can remember is stewed casserole rabbit & parsley dumplings on a Wintry Day, but still a remarkable meal. I must try and get hold of some rabbits,dont see them in the shops any more, or even the Butchers!.But I but cant wait to get into the Culinary Arts and carry out your Wonderful Recipe.

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