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 Rabbits

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 Rabbits

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.