Braised Rabbit with Dijon Sauce

Dedicated to Tim Mathis, who loved the Dijon Sauce

Ingredients:
1 Rabbit, cut in 6 pieces
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Butter, divided
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Shallots, diced
3 cups Table Mushrooms (small is best)
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Dijon Sauce
1/2 cup Stock from Rabbit
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Sprinkle the Rabbit pieces with Salt and Pepper on all sides.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp Butter and the Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven on medium heat.
  • Brown all the Rabbit pieces and set to the side. Do not over-crowd the Dutch Oven–you can do it in batches.
  • Carefully add the Wine, Garlic, and Shallots, and scrape the sides of the Dutch Oven with a balloon whisk.
  • Add the Chicken Stock, Herbes de Provence, and remaining Tbsp of Butter.
  • Add the Rabbit pieces and Mushrooms. The liquid should mostly cover the Rabbit, if not add more Chicken Stock, Wine, or Water.
  • Bring to a Boil on Medium-High heat.
  • When Boiling, lower heat and bring to a simmer. Cover for 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove Rabbit pieces, and then strain the liquid. Reserve the Mushrooms, Shallots, and Garlic for the side. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Broth for the Sauce.
  • In the empty Dutch Oven, combine the Reserved Broth, Heavy Cream, Honey, and Dijon Mustard, mixing well with a balloon whisk.
  • On medium heat bring to a boil and let roll for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Take the Rabbit pieces and coat them in the sauce, and then plate.
  • Remaining Sauce can be put in a Gravy Boat or bowl. Serve the Mushrooms and Shallots as a side

Makes 3-4 servings.

NOTES: Rabbit cooked this way is very mild, almost like chicken. You should get the Rabbit cut up by your butcher, though it is not hard to do yourself, but if your butcher sells it, then they can cut it. If you have a squeamish friend who fears the Bunny…the same Dijon sauce can be used on grilled or rotisserie chicken. Most folks, honestly would not know they’re eating rabbit unless you told them…just sayin’.  The broth can be saved and used with Pasta or Rice for a nice Soup as well.  You can also add lemon and bring to a boil and add whisked eggs–amazing.

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Escalope de Veau Comtoise – Comte Veal Scaloppini

Escalope de Veau Comtoise

Ingredients:
6 Veal cutlets, pounded thin
6 pieces Ham, thinly sliced
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 – 2 cups Comte cheese, shredded
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Place the Flour in a container and dredge the Veal cutlets.
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet and place in a baking dish.
  • Place a piece of ham on each cutlet, and then cover with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • While it is baking, deglaze the skillet with the wine.
  • Add the Mushrooms, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the Heavy Cream and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the Veal from the oven; and plate.
  • Cover with the Mushroom Sauce.
  • Garnish with the fresh Parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTES: I love looking at the cuisine of my the regions of the world from which my family comes. This recipe is a typical dish from the Franche-Comte region of France where my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother Adele Francais was born. This dish uses Comte cheese, a regional cheese similar to Gruyère. In fact you can substitute Gruyère for Comte if you cannot find Comte.  For those who object to the use of Veal, you can use Chicken cutlets.

Scaloppine di Pollo al Vino Bianco con Limone – Chicken Francaise

Chicken Francaise

Ingredients:
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (for coating)
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (for coating)
2 Eggs (for coating)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, butterfly cut and pounded about 1/4″ thick
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
3 clove Garlic, thinly sliced vertically
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp Corn Starch
Juice of 2 Lemons
1 Lemon, thinly sliced horizontally
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine

Directions:

  • Set up a dredging station using three pie pans. In one pan put the Flour, in the next the Eggs (beaten with a little water), in the next the Bread Crumbs and dried Herbs.
  • Season the Chicken with Salt and Pepper on both sides
  • Dredge the chicken in the Flour, then the Eggs, then the Bread Crumbs and set to the side
  • In a large skillet, brown each piece of chicken on both sides in the Olive Oil. When each piece is browned, remove from the skillet and place on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting, just to keep it warm.
  • Remove the Oil, and wipe it clean.
  • Heat the Butter on-low medium heat
  • In a small bowl combine Broth and Corn Starch, whipping until there are no lumps.
  • Add the Garlic, Wine, Broth, Lemon Juice, and Lemon Slices to the pan.
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly so to not burn about 5 mins.
  • Place the Chicken on Serving platter and cover with the Lemon Slices and Wine Sauce and garnish with the Parsley

NOTES: I have tried to find a definitive answer as to whether or not this dish is French or Italian–since one usually sees it in Italian restaurants in America.  No one including the infamous Wikipedia seem to agree.  I would guess is that it is an Italian-American dish that is influenced by the French style of cooking with Wine and Butter.

An easy way to pound the chicken flat is to place it between two sheets of cellophane with a little bit of olive oil. Take the back of a skillet and pound flat (or use a meat mallet if too heavy).

Variations:
Chicken Marsala – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Marsala wine, Mushrooms, and Prosciutto.
Chicken Piccata – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Capers.
Chicken Scaloppine – similar, flour-dredged Chicken with Cream-based lemon sauce.

Chicken Dijon Baked with Artichokes

Chicken Dijon with Artichokes

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken Breast, skinless, boneless, butterfly-cut
2 cups marinated Artichoke Hearts, quartered
2 cups Table Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter, diced
1-2 cups Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 cup Milk
4-6 Tbps Dijon Mustard

Directions:

  • Pat the chicken dry, and coat with the Bread Crumbs.
  • Saute in a skillet with the Olive Oil on medium heat until browned on the outside.
  • Remove and set to the side.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F
  • In a Dutch Oven or other baking dish, combine the Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Garlic, Herbs, and Spices.
  • Dollop with the pieces of Butter.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Wine and the Milk and then pour over the Artichoke/Mushroom mixture.
  • Cover with the pieces of Chicken, like a blanket.
  • Using a knife, spread the Dijon Mustard over the Chicken.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, covered.

NOTES: The use of Dijon Mustard with Chicken comes in various forms–some with a creamy mustard sauce, and others with a mustard rub. This Baked version allows the chicken to be steamed with the wine and herbs as well as allow the juices of the chicken and mustard to soak into the artichokes and mushrooms.

Variations:
Chicken in Dijon Cream Sauce

Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Dry Mustard
1-2 cloves Garlic
1 Shallot
1 Tbsp Capers, minced
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Honey
2 Tbsp Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Bordeaux
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Grate the Garlic and Shallot into a bowl, and press out the liquid and drain.
  • Using a Mortar and Pestle, crush the Mustard Seed. You do not have to pulverize the seeds, just crushing some will release the oils.
  • Combine the Mustard Seed, and Herbes, Spices and Seasonings with the Garlic and Shallots. Slowly add the Wines, Vinegars, Oil, and Honey.
  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Pour into a food processor and blend until desired consistency.

NOTES: Dijon Mustard was created by Jean Naigeon of Dijon in 1856, and utilized a wine made from un-riped grapes often called Verjuice, which has a high acidity. Most modern recipes have substituted it with a combination of White Wine, Red Wine, White Wine Vinegar, and Red Wine Vinegar–you can find varying portions of each depending on a recipe. Regardless, the wines should be dry, and of a high quality worth drinking.

You have control over the coarseness of the mustard when you grind it in the food processor. I prefer a coarser grind. You can also utilize various colors of Mustard Seeds, as available to give it some extra color.

Salmon Poached in Sauvignon Blanc on a Bed of Baby Spinach

Poached SalmonSalmon Poached in Sauvignon Blanc on a Bed of Baby Spinach

Ingredients:
2 6oz Fillets of Salmon
2 Shallots, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, diced rough
4 springs Dill
1/2 Lemon, sliced in rings across grain
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other White Wine
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 cup Kalamata Olives
4 cups Baby Spinach
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  • In a skillet with a lid heat the Shallots, Garlic and Salt in the Olive Oil on low heat, careful not to burn.
  • When the Shallots begin to break down, pour in the Sauvignon Blanc and Water and add the Dill.
  • Carefully place the Salmon Filets, skin side down, into the liquid.
  • Cover and cook for about 6 minutes.
  • On serving plate, place Spinach and Olives, and sprinkle with the Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Place the Salmon on the Bed of Spinach.
  • Ladle out some Shallots and wine and pour over the Salmon.
  • Sprinkle with Paprika and garnish with left over fresh Dill

Makes 2 Salmon Filet Servings.