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Rolling Rabbit Saddles with St. Jack’s Aaron Barnett

Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.

If you're a regular diner of Aaron Barnett's St. Jack, chances are you've either spied or tried his rabbit saddle. The dish is an occasional one that he often resurrects as an entrée or doles out for a night's worth of starters.

Here's how it breaks down: Barnett debones each rabbit and splits it into two wing-like sheets of meat. Into each saddle sheet, he rolls chopped red bell peppers, fresh basil leaves and a liberal amount of garlic-anchovy butter. Once all that has been rolled, he wraps the saddle in plastic wrap, squeezing at either end so that the saddle's nice and tightly rolled.

After shaping it, he removes the plastic and wraps the saddle with at least a half-dozen strips of bacon. Then he then wraps it up in even more plastic wrap to get that nice and tight, too. The saddle's then fried in a cast-iron skillet and finished in the oven. Once it's ready, he quarters each saddle, spoons a little red wine demi glace on top, and pairs it with grains and vegetables as an appetizer, or, in this case, as an entrée, with lentils and blistered snap peas.

St. Jack

1610 Northwest 23rd Avenue, , OR 97210 (503) 360-1281 Visit Website