Holiday Feature

Rabbit Thighs
Conserved in Olive Oil

Cuisses de Lapin Confites A l'Huile d'Olive
Serves 4


Rabbit Thighs This recipe comes from Jean-Pierre Michel of La Regalido in Fontvieille. Rabbit thighs are "cooked" in oil in the same way as duck thighs are cooked in their fat to make a traditional confit. The time taken to prepare the rabbit thighs is long because you are letting the olive oil conserve the rabbit, not roast or braise it. Dried juniper berries can be substituted for fresh. The ideal accompaniment to this dish is mashed potatoes made with olive oil.


4 rabbit thighs
1/2 cup salt
10 fresh juniper berries
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 springs of rosemary
extra-virgin olive oil


To prepare the rabbit thighs, remove any small bones but leave the main bone and truss each thigh so it will hold its shape.

Put the salt, juniper berries, 1 bay leaf, and 2 sprigs of thyme in a bowl and pour in 1 quart of water, stirring until the salt dissolves. Add the thighs and chill for 3 hours.

Remove the thighs from the mixture and put in a bowl of fresh cold water to cover and leave them for 2 hours, changing the water several times. Remove the rabbit thighs from the bowl of water and pat each one dry with paper towels.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the thighs in a deep casserole, pour over enough olive oil to cover the thighs and add the sliced garlic, the remaining thyme, the bay leaf, and the rosemary. Cover the casserole and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees F and cook for 5 hours or until the flesh is tender and easily comes away from the bone.

Leave the thighs to cool. They can be left for several weeks in the oil in a cool place.

To serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the rabbit thighs from the oil, place in the oven, and roast for 20 to 30 minutes until all the pieces are brown.


Recipe from:

Provence Gastronomique
by Erica Brown
Photography by Debbie Patterson
$27.50 (hardback)
Abbeville Press Publishers
ISBN: 0-7892-0038-4
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006