4am. Still dead of night as far as I am concerned. Cock-a-doodle-doo! My husband then rolls out of bed to close the ceiling window because I’m too short to reach it. Every morning the bloody thing would go off. And it would go all day. There is another one down the road that answers but that is more muted. Ours was about 10 feet from our window. I say was as this morning it’s been quiet. I’m wondering if coq a vin is on the menu next door. If I never hear another cock-a-doodle-doo I’ll be a happy camper.
On my list of ingredients to cook while here in France was rabbit. So off to the market we went in search of one.
We were successful. Good thing I asked the head be removed. An unfortunate thing about the kitchen we’re using, aside from a very anemic oven, is the knives are very dull. We’ve tried sharpening them without a whole lot of success. Which made butchering this rabbit quite the chore! My MIL helped as I had to wrestle it to submission. I ended up removing the legs and then took what I could of the remaining meat to add to the sauce. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the rabbit so when my MIL suggested making a quick stock I went in that direction. In a saucepan I covered the rabbit in water, added a shallot, salt and pepper, and thyme.
Bring it to a boil then let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. Once that is done heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and brown the legs of the rabbit.
While that is happening, prep a small onion, a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh rosemary.
Remove the rabbit legs and set aside. Sauté the onions and garlic until they soften. Add some of the rabbit stock to simmer with the onion and garlic.
Add the rabbit bits and rosemary and sauté for a few more minutes. I bought some local mushrooms at the market which were really nice. I sliced a few and added them the the skillet. Again add some stock. About half a cup or 4 ounces each time.
Chop up a few tomatoes. I also had a can of diced tomatoes that needed to be used. Toss these in and add 4-8 ounces of red wine. Bring to a simmer and add the rabbit legs to finish off cooking.
The tricky bit is not to over cook and toughen the meat. In fact after simmering awhile there was still a bit of rabbit on the larger leg that wasn’t cooked through. We still had plenty of meat to go round.
The sauce with the stock was really nice. Not sure if I’d cook a lot of rabbit going forward. It was nice but not something I would crave. But I can cross this off the bucket list so to speak.
Today is packing day as we have a long journey home. I’ll miss this place. I’ve loved the food, the sightseeing, working on the language, and the leisurely meals. No one rushes you and it’s perfectly fine to have a glass of wine or two with lunch. And I could eat bread here with minimal side effects. It’s been fabulous! But back to reality I’m afraid.