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Rabbit Tagine

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Rabbit Tagine

Here I have prepared it in a simple tagine redolent of flavours from my time in back street Moroccan markets. This recipe is scented lightly with saffron and I have used New Zealand apricots for their intense flavour, colour and gift of soaking up juices and gently falling into sweet mushiness that makes the thin sauce seem more substantial.


  • 2 rabbits, jointed (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 50 grams butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced or 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 8-10 strands saffron
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger, paprika and black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 20 dried New Zealand apricots
  • 10-12 dried dates (not fresh)


  1. Brown the rabbit in the butter in a hot frying pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and cook over a moderately high heat until the onions are lightly brown. Add the garlic, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and paprika and cook a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the stock, apricots, dates and simmer 2 minutes before transferring to a casserole. Sit the rabbit pieces on top and cover.
  4. Cook in a 160°C oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook as the rabbit will be dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over couscous


  1. You require 2 times the amount of boiling water, or stock, to quick-cook cousous. Place into a bowl, season and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes so that it has fully absorbed all the liquid. Fluff with a fork, add a knob of butter and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Scent the couscous with finely sliced preserved lemons (see Cook's Tips) and (lemon) thyme.

Cooks Tips

- Jointing a rabbit is very similar to jointing a chicken. With a sharp knife, cut down either side of the thigh joint and, if wished, cut in half between the leg and thigh. Cut across the saddle (centre) to achieve 2 meaty portions. Cut down either side of the front leg joints - these pieces are very small but worth including. - Preserved lemons are available in good delicatessens and food stores.

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