Rabbit with preserved lemon and soft polenta

Rabbit with preserved lemon and soft polenta

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin


Quantity Ingredient
100g plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
1 x 1.5kg rabbit, jointed into legs and shoulders, saddle cut in two
80ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
300ml dry white wine
470ml chicken stock
200g tinned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preserved lemon

Quantity Ingredient
2 lemons, zested, cut into thin matchsticks
110g sugar
125ml water

Soft polenta

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre water
300g instant polenta
100g salted butter
100g parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve


  1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the rabbit in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish and fry the rabbit, in batches, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use paper towels to wipe out the pan, then add the remaining oil and return the pan to the heat. Place the rabbit in the pan, along with the garlic and rosemary, and fry for 1–2 minutes. Stir in the wine, stock and chickpeas, and bring to the simmer. Cover with baking paper, then the lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour, until cooked. To check for doneness, press the rabbit meat with your fingers; it should give way under pressure. Use tongs to remove the rabbit, leaving the sauce in the pan, and shred the meat off the bones with a fork.
  3. Make the preserved lemon by heating the lemon zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened and the consistency of syrup, taking care not to allow the mixture to caramelise.
  4. Place the pan with the sauce over medium–high heat and reduce the sauce for 5–10 minutes, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the shredded rabbit meat and the preserved lemon to the sauce and heat through. Keep warm while you make the polenta.
  5. In a large saucepan, bring the water to the boil and whisk in the polenta. Stir over medium–high heat until thickened and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Dot in the butter and scatter over the grated parmesan. Divide between serving plates, top with the rabbit and sauce, and garnish with extra parmesan.
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