Caron Myers fascinating article, Rabbit Fever, featured in the April 2012 issue, documents how rabbits in Chatham County made their way to menus in New England and added thousands to local revenue. Inspired by this piece, executive chef Jimmy Reale offers us a modern-day recipe featuring Ashley Farms Rabbit Leg Confit.

Ashley Farms Rabbit Leg Confit, Jicama and Cucumber Salad, and Orange Vanilla Syrup

Serves 4

  • 4 Ashley Farms rabbit legs
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 cups olive oil
  • 4 Star Anise

Jicama and Cucumber Slaw

  • 1 cup jicama bulb peeled and julienne
  • 1 cup English cucumber sliced thin and julienne
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper julienne
  • ¼ cup poblano chili pepper julienne
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon sambal chili paste
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 English cucumber peeled and rough chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in blender and puree.

Orange Vanilla Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half and beans removed
  • 1 tablespoon shallots sliced thin
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Place all of the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat
  • Reduce liquid by 85%.
  • Run through fine mesh strainer
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper
  • Refrigerate until cold and ready to use

Assembly

  • Mix jicama slaw with enough dressing to coat all ingredients
  • Separate slaw into 4 separate bowls
  • Use a large sauté pan and place over medium high heat
  • Add oil and wait for pan to begin to lightly smoke
  • Lightly season Rabbit Legs with salt and pepper and place in hot pan
  • Cook for three minutes until golden brown
  • Flip rabbit and place in 325º oven for 8-10 minutes or until cook through
  • Remove from pan and place one rabbit leg on each plate
  • Drizzle orange vanilla syrup around the outside of the plate

Recipes provided by:
Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef
The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar at The Carolina Inn
Chapel Hill, NC

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