Braised Rabbit with Sassafras Fettuccini

Filé’s distinctive flavor—a bit musty, earthy, and aromatic—is somewhat similar to sage. Chefs often forego the powder’s strong flavor and aroma for use in dishes other than stews and soups. Every now and then, a vegetable dish like corn, okra, and tomatoes with be scented with filé, or you can go savory with a dish like this Braised Rabbit with Sassafras Fettuccini.

Braised Rabbit With Sassafras Fettuccini
Serves 4
This pasta dish uses filé in an unexpected and impactful way.
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  1. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1 cup chopped onion
  3. 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  4. 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  5. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  6. 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  7. 2 cups chicken broth
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  12. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  13. 2 pounds rabbit meat
  14. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  15. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  16. 1/4 cup minced shallot
  17. 1 pound cooked fresh red beans
  18. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  19. 1/2 cup white wine
  20. 1 pound cooked Sassafras Fettucini
  21. Garnish: 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toasted filé powder
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, celery, and carrot, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, and rabbit meat.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook until internal temperature of rabbit meat is 160°, 17 to 20 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup braising liquid, and when meat is cool enough to handle, shred and discard bones.
  3. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot; cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Add red beans, reserved rabbit meat, and thyme; cook until warmed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Deglaze pan with white wine, and add reserved 1/2 cup braising liquid, stirring to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let reduce by half. Add Sassafras Fettuccini, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan and toasted filé, if desired.
Louisiana Cookin
Sassafras Fettucini
Yields 1
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  1. 3 cups semolina flour
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 8 large eggs
  4. 1 tablespoon filé powder, lightly toasted
  1. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flours, and mix on low to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended while mixing. Once all eggs are incorporated, scrape down sides of work bowl, and increase speed to medium. Add filé, and mix 1 to 2 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. In a large pan, bring 6 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil.
  3. Cut dough, and roll into 4 rectangles. Using a pasta roller, roll each rectangle to 1/8-inch thickness. Switch pasta attachment to fettuccini, and roll into sliced pasta. Repeat for remaining dough rectangles. Cook pasta in boiling water 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, and use immediately.
Louisiana Cookin


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