Lunchbreak: Rabbit sugo with pappardelle

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Cedric Harden, Chef de Cuisine, River Roast


James Beard Foundation Greens Chicago: A Farm Dinner with Café Spiaggia and River Roast
Thursday, November 15
Café Spiaggia, 980 N Michigan Ave, 2nd Floor
Three Seatings at 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.

Member Price: $70
General Public: $85

A collaborative four-course dinner featuring produce from Green Acre Farms. Additionally, Spiaggia beverage director Rachael Lowe and River Roast beverage director Ken Pritz will expertly select beverages that complement the dinner.

More events at River Roast:

Blues & Brunch:

Sat. Nov. 17: Dave Specter
Sun. Nov. 18: Big Lew & The Powerhouse Players
Sat. Nov. 24: Jamiah Rogers
Sun. Nov. 25: Eric Noden
Sat. Dec. 1: Michael Charles
Sun. Dec. 2: Cyrus Hayes
Sat. Dec. 8: Marty Sammon
Sun. Dec. 9: Ronnie Hicks


Chefs Tony Mantuano, John Hogan and Cedric Harden plus Beverage Director Ken Pritz team up to to show you how to host the perfect cocktail party for holidays.

Saturday, December 15 | 12-2:00 p.m.
$65.00 per person



Rabbit Sugo with Pappardelle

1 Tbl black peppercorns

1 Tbl fennel seeds

1 Tbl coriander seeds

¼ cup kosher salt

1 lemon, zested

1 orange, Zested

2 Tbl fresh oregano, chopped

2 lbs. skinless rabbit hind legs, or could sub with skinless chicken quarters

½ cup small diced red onions

¼ cup small diced fennel

½ cup chopped porcini mushrooms

½  cup small diced carrots

¼ cup small diced celery

4 garlic cloves minced

1 Tbl tomato paste

2 Tbl champagne vinegar

3 cups chicken stock + 1 cup

2 Tbl parsley, chopped

2 Tbl grated parmesan

In a dry pan toast the spices until fragrant. Ground in spice grinder until fine. Add to a clean bowl and add lemon zest, orange zest, oregano and salt. Lay rabbit legs on a rimmed baking sheet and generously season the rabbit with the salt mixture. Place in cooler or refrigerator to dry brine for 6 hours or overnight.

Rinse the legs and pat dry with a towel.

Preheat oven at 300*f.

Heat a large dutch oven on med high heat, add 3 Tbl of canola oil, when the oil is shimmering hot, lay in 2 legs at a time browning both sides about 4 mins on each side. Transfer the legs to a resting platter until all legs are done. Add more oil if necessary.

Pour off all fat from the pot and add 3 tbl of oil. Once hot, add onions, fennel, carrots, celery and garlic.   Add mushrooms and sauté the veggies really well for 15 mins, increase the heat a little and add the tomato paste and sauté for 3 mins or until the paste turns dark. Add the vinegar and 1 cup of chicken stock. Simmer for 10mins.

Return the browned rabbit to the pot, with the meatiest side facing up. Adjust heat to med high pour in enough chicken stock to almost cover the rabbit, bring liquid to a simmer and cover with lid and transfer to oven. Braise legs for 1 ½ hours or until the thickest legs are tender. When the meat is done remove from oven and remove cover. Let the legs cool down in the liquid until cool enough to handle.

Pull meat off of the bones, try to pull in bit size pieces without shredding. Set the picked meat aside and discard the bones. Taste the braising liquid and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir the picked meat into the pot, cover and refrigerate overnight for best flavor, but can be used right away.

Cook your Pasta, which can be dry or fresh. Make sure to season your pasta water before you cook the pasta. While it’s cooking heat the sugo with the picked rabbit meat. Cook the pasta to just under al dente, remove pasta and add to sugo to cook to al dente. Laddle in about 1 cup of the pasta water and took for about 2 mins. When pasta is ready add the Parsley and top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


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