Serves 4 people
For the potatoes:
2 pounds baby marble potatoes
Olive oil to cover
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 to 3 sprigs rosemary
2 to 3 sprigs thyme
For the arrabiata sauce:
6 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, whole
2 to 3 medium-sized spicy heirloom chiles, whole
2 whole shallots, unpeeled
4 to 5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
4 bone-in rabbit thighs
1 recipe Buttermilk vinaigrette
For the market bean salad:
12 to 15 fresh beans such as Romano, wax or green
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme or savory
Pinch of salt
1 or 2 cracks of fresh black pepper
To prepare the potatoes:
Place the potatoes and the aromatics in a 10- to 12-inch pot or dutch oven. Add the oil just to cover. Set over low heat and allow to poach gently until just tender. They are done when they can be easily pierced with a paring knife with little to no resistance, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Once cooked, remove and set aside to cool. When cool, remove from the oil and discard the aromatics. This can be done a day in advance.
To prepare the arrabiata sauce:
Heat the broiler to high.
Season the tomatoes, chiles, shallots, and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set on a sheet pan and place under the broiler. Allow to char deeply, just short of burning, turning halfway through, about 10 to 15 minutes total. Set aside and allow to cool.
Place the tomatoes and chiles in a blender. Peel the charred skin off the shallots, revealing a tender opaque center and add to the blender. Squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic into the blender, discarding the peels. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper or additional chile flakes, if you like it spicy!
Place a large skillet that can comfortably fit all four rabbit thighs over a medium high flame and add olive oil. Let the oil warm until hot, but not smoking. Season both sides of the rabbit with salt and pepper and carefully place in the hot oil, bone-side up. Allow the rabbit to brown deeply, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the rabbit from the pan and discard the excess oil. Return the rabbit to the pan and add the arrabiata sauce. Cover the pan and place in a 375 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender and gently pulls away from the bone.
Once the rabbit is tender, remove from the oven, leave the lid on and allow to rest.
While the rabbit is cooking, prepare the buttermilk vinaigrette. Then prepare the market bean salad by thinly slicing beans on the bias and tossing them with the lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
To finish the dish, heat oil in a large sauté pan. When hot, add the poached potatoes. As the potatoes brown in the hot oil, use the back of a slotted spoon to gently smash them. Once the potatoes have crisped, toss in ⅓ cup of the buttermilk vinaigrette and remove from heat.
Evenly divide the potatoes among four warmed dinner plates. Gently baste the cooked rabbit with a little of its sauce and place each piece gently on top of the potatoes.
Place the seasoned market beans on top of the rabbit, drizzle the dish with more buttermilk vinaigrette and serve immediately.