1 pint pearl onions or 1 package (10 ounces) frozen
½ pound or 1 package (10 ounces) small mushrooms, preferably cremini
2 rabbits, cut into serving pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ pound thickly sliced lean bacon
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or packaged (not canned)
1 small bouquet garni (3 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf wrapped and tied in cheesecloth)
Peel the onions by first plunging them into a pot of boiling water, boiling for 1 minute, draining in a colander, rinsing with cold water, and then cutting the tiny root ends off with a paring knife and pulling away the peel.
Trim 1/8-inch off the bottom of the mushroom stems if they are dark, dirty or dried out. If the mushroom caps are more than 1 inch in diameter, quarter the mushrooms vertically.
Season the rabbit parts with salt and pepper, and melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet, or two skillets just large enough to hold the rabbit parts in a single layer. When the butter stops foaming, add the rabbit parts and brown on both sides for 8 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the rabbit and cook for 2 minutes more on each side to eliminate the flour's starchy taste.
While the rabbit parts are browning, cut the bacon slices crosswise into ¼-inch strips and cook the strips gently over medium heat in a small skillet until they barely begin to turn crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Pour the wine and chicken broth over the rabbit parts, nestle in the bouquet garni, and add the pearl onions and mushrooms. If you're using two skillets, use half the liquids, onions and mushrooms in each one and nestle a small bouquet garni in each. Bring to a simmer over high heat, turn the heat down to low to maintain a very gentle simmer, and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rabbit feels firm to the touch.
Transfer the rabbit parts, onions and mushrooms to a bowl and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Pour the the liquid in the skillet into a small saucepan and gently simmer the sauce, while skimming off fat and scum, for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has a lightly syrupy consistency.
Portion out the rabbit parts on to plates, spoon each portion with sauce, mushrooms and pearl onions, and serve.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Gene Gerrard, Meat & Wild Game Cooking/About.com