Rabbit Stewed in Red Wine with Chocolate and Cinnamon

Preparation:

1 rabbit (lapin)

Marinade:  (will be added to stew after the marinade takes place)

1 (750 ml) bottle of full bodied, dry red wine (vin rouge)
2 bay leaves (feuille de laurier)
sprigs (branch) of fresh thyme (thym)
sprigs (branch) of fresh rosemary (romarin)
1/3 cup shallot, or the greens of green onion (oignon vert), chopped

Adding to the stew:

1 pound (0.5 kg) butternut squash (courge musquee)
1 pound (0.5 kg) yam (patate douce)
olive oil (huile d’olive)
1 medium leek (poireau)
2 large carrots  (carotte)
1 cup celery chopped (celeri)
1 – 3 inch (7 cm) cinnamon stick) (de cannelle)
2 oz (60 grams) dark chocolate (chocolat noir)

Preparation the night before:

Rise rabbit.  Salt wash flesh and rinse very well in running water.  Cut off rabbit legs and neck so all pieces fit inside a 1/2 gallon (0.5 liter) jar.  Place pieces in jar with bay leaves, fresh thyme and rosemary, shallots or green onions.  Fill jar with red wine, put on the jar lid. Place in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning:

Wash and pierce yam, wash squash.  Cut butternut squash in half from top to bottom, remove seeds and discard them.  Place cut side down in large baking dish, add the yam to the pan.  Fill pan with 1 inch (2 cm) of water. Bake butternut squash and yam at 350 degrees (175 Celsius) for one hour until tender.  Remove butternut squash from the skin and place in a blender with the yam, cut into pieces.  Add juice from the pan.  Blend.

In a soup pot:

Saute 1 medium leek in olive oil.  Add the rabbit, with the herbs and shallots or green onions, wine from the jar and any remaining wine from the bottle, the butternut squash, yam puree, celery, carrots, cinnamon stick and chocolate.  Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for one hour.

Before serving:

Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves.  Pull rabbit meat from the bone and return to the soup pot.  Taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

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