We went down to the Saturday morning market in Saint-Aignan yesterday. We were shopping for a rabbit that we will be cooking as our Easter dinner today. We wanted to buy it from our favorite poultry vendor, and we wanted some more asparagus from the man who comes down here from Contres to sell the white asparagus he grows near Soings-en-Sologne.
We also bought a big piece of what is called pâté de Pâques (Easter pâté) in the Loire Valley and the Berry regions. I don't know if the pâté is a regional specialty, or if people in other parts of France have the same thing at Easter. It's a puff-pastry shell filled with an herby meat stuffing and hard-boiled eggs.
I forgot to take my camera to the market, but I took a few photos of our purchases this morning. After a walk around the vineyard with Callie the collie, I'll come back and start cooking. By the way, a lot of people here raise rabbits for food, and rabbit (like chicken, turkey, and duck) is always available at good prices in the supermarkets and on the open-air markets.
The liver or foie...
...and the kidneys or rognons visible after the liver is removed
This year we decided to buy parts rather than a whole animal. For the two of us, it's plenty. We got a piece of what is called the râble, which is the "saddle" in English, like saddle of lamb. It's the back, with its two nice tenderloin pieces, and with the liver, and the kidneys attached. Those are good to eat too.
For good measure, we also bought two rabbit legs. The back legs are very meaty, and we chose those. As you can see, the meat is very white and lean. We'll be cooking the rabbit as a sweet-and-savory dish with onions and peaches. More about that tomorrow.