Backyard Lavender-Fried Rabbit with Romano Beans and Yellow Carrots

Adapted by
March 2008
Yield: 4 to 8 Servings


Braised Rabbit
¼ cup olive oil
2 rabbits, each cut into 8 pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon lavender
1 sprig lemon thyme
3 cups Riesling white wine
5 cups chicken stock
Fried Rabbit
peanut oil, for deep frying
4 cups panko
1 tablespoon lavender
1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups buttermilk
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Romano Beans and Carrots
1 pound romano beans, trimmed
1 pound yellow carrots, peeled and roll cut
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Assemble and Serve
buttermilk mashed potatoes
lavender sprigs, for garnish


For the Braised Rabbit:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Heat olive oil in a large, (straight-sided) sautoir pan over high heat. Season rabbit pieces with salt and pepper; sear on both sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove rabbit and set aside. In same pan, brown celery, carrots, and onion, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, lavender, thyme, Riesling, and return rabbit to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add stock, cover, and place in oven, braising until tender and falling off the bone, about 1 hour. Remove rabbit and set aside. Strain braising liquid and discard solids. Return rabbit and braising liquid to pan and cool.

For the Fried Rabbit:
Preheat deep fryer with peanut oil to 350ºF. Blend panko with lavender and thyme and set aside in a bowl or dish; put flour and buttermilk each in a bowl or dish, as well. Remove rabbit from braising liquid and let drain a bit (reserve braising liquid); toss pieces in flour, coat in buttermilk, and then dredge in panko to cover. Fry until golden, about 4 minutes. Let drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

For the Romano Beans and Carrots:
In a large sauté pan on high heat, bring 2 cups of rabbit braising liquid to a simmer and add romano beans and carrots; cook until beans and carrots are tender, about 3 minutes Whisk butter into sauce and season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
Spoon pile of mashed potato onto plate, add carrots and beans, and drizzle with braising liquid. Top with pieces of fried rabbit and garnish with lavender.