Schubert Wines  - Saddle of Rabbit in Applewood-Smoked Bacon with Caramelized Fennel and Fennel Oil inspired by Thomas Keller

Ingredients for 3 perople
 
CARAMELIZED FENNEL
3 fennel bulbs
2 sprigs thyme
2 pieces star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup kosher salt
Canola oil
 
QUICK SAUCE
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 pounds bones, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups strained Chicken Stock
1 cup leeks cut into 1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
1 cup onions cut into 1/2-inch mirepoix
1 cup diced carrots cut into 1/2-inch mirepoix
2 cups strained Veal Stock
 
RABBIT
3 super rabbit saddles
18 thin slices bacon, preferably applewood-smoked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
 
fennel oil in a squeeze bottle
2 cups fennel fronds
2 cups Italian parsley sprigs
3/4 cup canola oil
Blanching time: fennel fronds and parsley 10 - 15 seconds
 
6 sprigs fennel 
                          12MV
Preparation
 
QUICK SAUCE
Heat the canola oil over high heat in a wide pot to hold the bones in one layer. Then add the bones and sear them for about 10 minutes. They have to be well browned or they have to start give off their juice. Turn the bones and cook for 10 minutes longer. Add 1 cup water to the pot. Stirring with a wooden spoon, scrape up any glazed juices clinging to the bottom of the pot and cook until the liquid has evaporqated. Deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Add the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are lightly caramelized. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, the veal stock and 2 cups of water. Deglaze the pot, scraping up the glazed juices from the bottom, then transfer the stock and the bones to a smaller, narrower pot where you can skim them. Bring to a simmer and ladle off the oil as it rises to the top. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, skimming often, until the stock has reduced to the level of the bones. Strain the sauce through a China cap and then again through a chinois. Do not force any solids. Pour the liquid into a small pot, reduce to about 1 cup and strain.
 
CARAMELIZED FENNEL
Trim the tops and root ends from the fennel bulbs and cut an X into the root end of each. Place the fennel in a pot, cover with cold water and add the remaining ingredients except the oil. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain the fennel and refrigerate. When the bulbs are cold, cut 2 center-cut slices, about 1/2 inch each, from each bulb.
 
RABBIT
Remove the kidneys and peel off the outer membranes. Set aside.
Separate the racks from the saddles, but leave the last rib attached to the saddle. Using kitchen shears or a sharp heavy knive, split each rack lenghtwise in half.
To bone the saddles, use a sharp boning knife and remove the loins and tenderloins. Trim the flapsattached to the saddle to 1 inch wide. Season the loins and tenderloins with salt and pepper and replace the tenderloins on each loin. Fold the flaps around the meat to form a compact cylinder. Arrange 6 slices of bacon on a work surface, overlapping them so they form a rectangle as wide as the lenght of one loin. Season each piece of meat, lay it across the bacon slices and roll the rabbit loin up in the bacon. Tie each cylinder with butcher's twine at 3/4-inch intervals.
To french the bones of the rabbit racks, scrape the ends of the ones with a knife to release the fat, pull it away from the bones in one piece. Trim away any remaining fat. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Heat about 1/8 inch of canoa oil in a large skillet over medium -high heat. Sauté the saddles, rolling them around for about 5 minutes until they are browned. Transfer them into a baking pan and place them in the oven until cooked to medium, while you finish the dish.
 
COMPLETE
Pour off any bacon fat remaining in the skillet and add the racks to the skillet. Sauté them, turning to brown on all sides until they are cooked to medium. During the last minute of cooking, add the kidneys and sauté briefly.
Meanwhile, heat 1/8 inch of canolaoil in a second large skillet. Add the fennel slices and sauté them until they are slightly caramelized.
Warm the sauce.
Cut each saddle and rack into two pieces. Cut each kidney in half. Squeeze a ring of fennel oil onto each plate and spoon the sauce into the center to fill the rings. Center  a slice of fennel on the sauce. Arrange a piece of saddle, rack and kidney on top, and garnish each portion of rabbit with a fennel sprig.
Saddle of Rabbit big