Wow! We loved this recipe! The flavors were just perfect, rich and earthy but elegant. Just plain delicious! Thanks to Palma for sharing it. Although the recipe is for rabbit, Ken would NEVER dream of eating a rabbit (he’s such a sensitive soul). So I used 4 chicken thighs and 4 legs.
Coniglio al Forno con Finoccio
2 1/2-2 3/4 lb rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
or 8 chicken thighs
Seasoning the Rabbit
1 large clove of garlic (I used 4)
1 1/2 inch sprig of rosemary (I used 4)
1/2 t. salt (I’m sure I used a t. of sea salt)
1/8 t. pepper
Cooking the Chicken
2 bulbs fennel cut into 1 1/2 ” wedges
1 large onion, cut into 1 1/2 ” wedges
3 oz. pancetta, minced
3 cloves of garlic, split
1 t. fennel seeds
1/2 c. coarsely chopped fennel leaves
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 c. white wine
Pan Sauce
1/4 c. white wine
1/2 c. chicken stock
The rabbit or chicken tastes best when seasoned one day ahead. I blended the first four ingredients in the food processor with a drizzle of olive oil to make a paste. Rub on the rabbit pieces, and refrigerate overnight in a ziplock.
Two hours and 15 minutes before you would like to eat, preheat the oven to 350. Use a roasting pan or baking dish large enough to hold the rabbit pieces and onions and fennel. Scatter fennel, onion, pancetta, garlic, and fennel seeds around and between the pieces, and put half the fennel leaves on top. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes.
Add wine, and roast for another hour. Baste every 15 minutes with pan juices. If pan becomes too dry, add a little more wine or water. (Mine was nice and juicy.)
Raise the heat to 450. Cook 15 more minutes until rabbit becomes golden brown. Turn rabbit pieces, and roast another 15 minutes, basting once more. Veggies should be caramelized.
Transfer rabbit and vegetables to a heated platter and keep warm in the oven while you make a quick pan sauce. Set the roasting pan over two burners on high heat, and deglaze with the wine and stock. Scrape any brown pieces from pan and boil down liquid to about half. (Be careful of heat level if you are using a pyrex pan). Deglaze for 3-5 minutes. Scatter remaining fennel leaves over rabbit and serve sauce in gravy boat or bowl alongside rabbit.

I used a little bit more pancetta and I loved biting into a little cube of it while eating. I served it over Farfalle pasta. Really–you’ve gotta try this one!


Slow Suppers–Chicken with Fennel — 3 Comments

  1. The chicken looks great. We used the rabbit (no one would accuse me of having a sensitive soul LOL) and loved it. I can’t wiat to try the same recipe with chicken.