Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and add the carrots, the head of garlic and pickling onions or shallots. Fry the vegetables over a high heat for about 5 minutes, or until they start to brown.
Meanwhile, tie the bay leaf, rosemary, sage, thyme and lemon zest together.
Add the cloves to the carrots and fry for a few seconds so that they release their aroma. Then add the wine, stock and herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Add the rabbit legs and bring to a rapid boil, turning them in the liquid. Season to taste then reduce the heat, skim well, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the legs are tender. Remove the rabbit and keep it warm.
Discard the herbs and the garlic. Raise the heat and boil the sauce hard until it is reduced by half.
Return the rabbit to the pan, add the lemon juice and heat the meat through. Serve it with the vegetables, sprinkled with thyme.
Tip: wild rabbit has more flavour and less fat than farmed, but it is tougher and will need cooking for at least 1 hour 15 minutes. The legs are smaller, so you may need two each.