Rabbit Confit with Polenta, Minted Peas, Feta and Basil

Make a lasting impression on dinner party guests with Maria Elia's unusual recipe for rabbit confit with creamy polenta
By Maria Elia
Rabbit Confit with Polenta, Minted Peas, Feta and Basil
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: hard


For the rabbit confit

  • 4 x 250 g rabbit legs
  • 20 g sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 1.5 kg rendered duck fat

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, preferably chardonnay
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, preferably cabernet sauvignon vinegar
  • 150 ml light olive oil

For the peas

  • 200 g podded peas
  • 50 g Greek feta cheese, grated
  • 50 g mint, finely chopped
  • 50 g basil, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

For the polenta

  • 900 ml milk
  • 1/2 onion, studded with 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 125 g quick-cook polenta
  • 125 g butter
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. For the confit rabbit, season the legs with sea salt, garlic, thyme and lemon and leave overnight in the fridge.

2. When you are ready to cook the duck, heat the duck fat with 400ml of water in a large saucepan - be careful as it will splutter! Rinse the seasoning off the rabbit legs and add to the saucepan.

3. Cover the rabbit with a disc of greaseproof paper and cook for about 1 hour over a very low heat, until the legs are tender.

4. Remove the rabbit from the pan and drain off any excess fat. While the duck is cooking, begin making the vinaigrette, minted peas and polenta.

5. For the vinaigrette, finely chop the garlic, place in a bowl with a pinch of salt, the mustard and lemon juice. Whisk in the wine vinegars and olive oil.

6. For the peas cook the podded peas in boiling salted water until tender; drain and put in a bowl. Combine with the feta, herbs, shallots and dress with the vinaigrette. Set aside until ready to serve.

7. To make the polenta, heat the milk and add the onion and bay leaf. Remove from the heat and let the milk infuse for 10 minutes before straining into a saucepan. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer.

8. Whisk in the instant polenta and cook over a low heat, following the instructions on the packet. Season with salt and black pepper and whisk in the butter and mascarpone before serving.

9. To serve, spoon a dollop of polenta onto each plate and top with the rabbit and peas.

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