Rillettes de Lapin a la Dave

I first started blogging in November 2010 at Blogspot.   Peggy S, an old friend, asked me what my goal was or something like that.   “Goal?”,  I puzzled.   After that I just felt like I was missing something.  Surprised that cooking and taking pictures of the results didn’t count as a goal, I decided to get one or two.   1) I wanted my photos to be accepted by every major food photography site online.  Food Porn Daily, Food gazing, Food Gawker, Tastespotting, Tasteologie, Photograzing.    Done.   2)  I wanted to have over 1,000 visitors to my site in one day. (1,049 yesterday)   Done.  Now I can get back to just cooking and taking pictures of the results.   Sorry Peg, no ambition 🙂

Dave at The Rooter to the Tooter is one of my chef-heroes.   He’s quite the philosopher, has flair, is innovative and dares to go where no man has gone before.   His recipe for Chinese Black Chicken Rillettes fascinated and inspired imitation, to some extent.  No black chicken in Sens, no sirree.  But we have rabbits!  Rillettes means, basically, shredded meat.

Some times my lack of understanding is just plain mind-boggling!   Or maybe not.   In the U.S., when you buy a packaged whole chicken, that means that you get the edible parts, no head no feet.   I assumed that that was what I was getting when I bought a packaged whole rabbit.   Not.  They had cleverly hidden the head, with eyes, on the bottom of the package, which meant that I had to cut out the eyes before I started cooking the rillettes. Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all the saints!  I hated that!  Next time, forget the “whole rabbit” business, I’ll make the rillettes with just the saddle portion(rable).  Boy!

While the rabbit was boiling, I made Jade a lunch from leftovers; a sandwich of lamb, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto with a cup of seafood soup.  It looked so good, I made some for myself!

Meanwhile, I made the quail egg salad.   This was a perfect blend of quail eggs, cornichon, sweet relish, ginger and mayonnaise.  The ginger was brilliant!  And as I thought, the egg salad was a perfect foil to the rillettes.

Rabbit Rillettes with Quail Egg Salad

1 rabbit, cut into chicken like pieces



1 quart of goose fat

12 coriander seeds

3 juniper berries

1 tsp white peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 tsp 5 spice powder

18 quail eggs, boiled, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp green onion, chopped

2 tbsp cornichon, chopped

2 tbsp sweet relish

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

3 tbsp mayonnaise

Salt and pepper

1 baguette, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 cup Olive oil

Rub the rabbit with salt and cumin, then refrigerate overnight or at least for 3 hours.  Put the seasoned rabbit in the melted goose fat with the coriander, juniper, peppercorns and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours until the meat separates from the bone.  Reserving the oil, remove the meat from the pot, allow to cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred by hand (a sure way to remove the tiny rabbit bones and the whole spices), mix in about 1 cup of the cooking oil and the five spice powder, mashing and mixing with a fork.  Put the rillettes in small bowls and cover with a thin layer of the cooking oil.   Refrigerate.

To make the egg salad, mix the quail eggs, green onion, cornichon, sweet relish, ginger, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Refrigerate.

Fry the garlic in the olive oil until brown, discard and then fry the baguette slices, draining on paper towels.

Serve the rillettes on the fried bread with the egg salad.

Wine suggestion:  Bourgogne Aligote

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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16 Responses to Rillettes de Lapin a la Dave

  1. The rillettes shots are the real thing, as is the recipe. You’re on fire!

  2. Wow, 1,000 plus in one day. Way to go. I love your site and this recipe is the perfect example of why.

  3. Karen says:

    Congratulations for achieving all your goals and then some. Whenever we are in Europe, we love going into the meat markets and wishing we could find the wonderful items here. Now I know I must be careful what I wish for…a rabbit looking back at me isn’t one of the things I’d like. I agree the saddle would do just nicely.

    • Thanks Karen. While I do appreciate the “straight from the farm” insistence of the French consumer, I pretty much don’t need to see the heads in order to tell what kind of animal it was 🙁

  4. Wow.. They look great. So scrumptious. This is a must make. Nice photos

  5. Congrats on reaching those awesome goals & for creating this great recipe 🙂

  6. Carolyn Jung says:

    What a great duo for a cocktail party. Love their rustic look, too.

  7. Once again, you are too kind!

  8. Sea Cuisine says:

    Leftovers? That’s some meal made of leftovers! We are quite impressed with the quick concoction as it does look extremely tasty. Do you have a link to the seafood chowder recipe?

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