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Riesling-Braised Rabbit with Mustard Spaetzle


Serves 4

For the rabbit:

One 2- to 3-lb. rabbit, cut into 6 pieces (2 legs, 2 front quarters, 2 loin/saddle)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 cup Riesling or other off-dry white wine

1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the spaetzle:

Kosher salt

4 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. minced fresh chives or thyme



Cook the rabbit:

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the rabbit all over with salt and pepper and cook in batches, turning once, until browned on all sides. Transfer the seared rabbit to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the onion, butter, and thyme to the fat remaining in the pot and cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and fragrant. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the pot, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer the rabbit back to the pot, add the chicken broth (it should barely cover the rabbit), cover the pot, and braise in the oven until the rabbit is tender, about 60 to 75 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the spaetzle:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, mustards, 1 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk in the flour.

2. Set a large colander over the pot of boiling water. Pour the batter into the colander and then, using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter back and forth over the holes, pressing it through to drop into the water. Occasionally stir the spaetzle in the water to make sure they don’t stick together.

3. Cook the spaetzle until they’re cooked through but still a bit chewy, about 2 minutes. Drain in a clean colander and toss with 1 Tbsp. of the butter to prevent sticking.


Finish the dish:

1. When the rabbit is tender, remove the pieces to a plate and cover with foil. Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat until reduced by half. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spaetzle and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned and warmed through.  Serve the rabbit pieces on a bed of the spaetzle, drizzled with the sauce and garnished with the chives or thyme.