Hunter’s rice with rabbit and wild herbs

Serves SERVES 4-6 Starters and mains




  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 litre rabbit or chicken stock
  • 175g dwarf green beans, trimmed
  • 1 farmed rabbit (or 750g chicken), cut into small pieces through the bone
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½tsp sweet pimentón (optional)
  • ¼tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 300g vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • leaves from 2 large thyme sprigs
  • leaves from a 10cm rosemary sprig, chopped
  • leaves from 2 large wild oregano sprigs, chopped
  • 6 small fresh bay leaves
  • 400g paella rice (preferably Calasparra)
  • 280g jar artichokes in olive oil, drained and cut into quarters


Bring a pan of well-salted water to the boil. Shake the saffron around in a hot, dry frying pan for a few seconds, then tip into a mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Transfer the saffron powder to a pan, add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Drop the green beans into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, and set aside.

Season the rabbit or chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 38cm paella pan or large, deep frying pan over a medium heat, add the meat and fry until golden brown all over. Lift onto a plate and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and fry for 6–7 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic, pimentón if using and the chilli flakes and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the herbs and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Taste the stock and season with salt to taste and plenty of pepper.

Pour in the rice and stir so that it is evenly distributed in the pan. Place the rabbit pieces around the pan with the artichokes and shake the pan gently so the pieces bed down into the rice. Scatter over the green beans and leave to simmer vigorously for 6 minutes. Then lower the heat and leave to cook undisturbed for 14–15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al punto – still with a little bite. Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean cloth and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.



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