Cut the rabbits into good sized pieces, season well and toss lightly in flour, sauté in a little olive oil until golden brown and set aside to cool slightly.
In a good sized oven proof casserole dish, on the hob part of the stove, gently cook the carrots, leek, potatoes, onions and garlic until tender, chop the tomatoes finely and add to the vegetables with the bay leaves and stock. Cook down for a further 15 minuets on a low heat, next position the rabbit over the vegetables and sprinkle on the almonds, flambé with the wine and Cognac. At this stage then transfer to the middle shelf of a pre heated oven around 300f with the lid on for a further 30 mins.
Remove from the oven and gently fold in the Chestnut puree, replace the lid and return to the oven for a further 15 minuets cooking time.
This dish is best enjoyed with a crispy Mediterranean salad and warm Ciabatta bread.