Executive Chef Matthew Maxwell of New York’s Hudson River Club offers several game-based hors d’oeuvres at his annual game dinners.
- 1 pound rabbit legs, thighs and shoulders
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 whole head garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 10 white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 12 (1-inch) frozen savory tart shells
- Fresh chervil leaves for garnish
Heat oven to 325F. Season rabbit with salt and pepper. In an oven-proof pan set over medium-high heat, heat oil until it ripples. Sear rabbit on all sides, about 5 minutes each, or until golden brown. Transfer rabbit to a platter. Reduce heat to medium and add carrot, onion, garlic and shallots to same pan; stir in tomato paste, adding a little more oil if necessary, and cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables soften and begin to brown. Add wine and cook for 15 minutes, until reduced in volume by one-third.
Return rabbit to pan, add mushrooms and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until rabbit is tender and falls off the bone. Remove rabbit from liquid and set aside. Simmer remaining liquid on top of stove for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pick rabbit meat off bones, placing meat in a covered saucepan to keep it moist. Add the bones to the liquid and cook until reduced in volume to 1Â¼2 cup. Strain over rabbit.
Bake tart shells according to package instructions. Warm rabbit meat and liquid over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until it boils gently. Immediately spoon 1 tablespoon rabbit into each tart shell. Garnish with fresh chervil.