-Funding for "The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy" was provided by... -Established in 1941 in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, Dooky Chase is one of the most culturally significant restaurants in the country, where chef Leah Chase became internationally known as the queen of Creole cuisine.
Carrying on the legacy of Leah Chase, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 96, are grandson Dook Chase and great-granddaughter Zoe Chase, who prepare two signature entrées paired with a mocktail by granddaughter Eve Marie Haydel.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ We start with smothered pork chops with Creole rice dressing, a dish that takes Dook Chase back to his childhood.
-So let's go ahead on and get started.
I have four beautiful center-cut pork chops right here, and this is an easy dish that you can do at home.
It's fairly quick and simple.
You're gonna start off by just seasoning these pork chops, basic seasoning -- salt and pepper I have here, a little flour 'cause we're gonna dust it.
That's gonna create that little thickening for that gravy that we want to coat it with.
And you want to be fairly generous, not too much, 'cause you are gonna build a little flavor with that gravy.
And here you can see I do both sides.
You want to -- each time you season meat, you want to do both sides to make sure you got a good flavor all the way throughout.
And we're gonna lightly dust this pork chop, right?
I'm not looking for a heavy dust on it.
I just want to take it, and you can see little here.
Madisonville is a little -- little town on the Northshore in Louisiana.
That's where my grandmother grew up and her parents lived.
And they had a wonderful garden.
Talk about garden-to-table, you know.
Before that term was really popular, that's how people lived back in the day.
I have my stove turned on to about a low-medium heat, and we're gonna add a little oil to that just to get it ready and going.
And it's not too much.
We'll keep that right there and we'll look for that sizzle that we want.
[ Sizzling ] And that's what you're looking for.
And the other main thing about smothering pork chop or cooking anything in these pot, you never want to crowd the pot when you're trying to brown the meat, right?
You want to let each one have enough space to talk to the bottom of the pan.
I think I can fit just about one more in here.
And you're gonna let that cook on low-to-medium heat, probably about two to three minutes on each side.
You're looking for just that good brown coating, not only on the pork chop, but you want some of that flavor to stick to the bottom of this pan.
Now, with those onions, we're gonna do them two ways.
So that's why I have two halves, right?
Easy way to chop this onion -- I know many of you all do this at home already.
You want to cut your lines through.
Then you get it on this side and you cut your lines through this way.
I like to do about three lines and then just come down and work that knife down.
And this is where you can get a consistent chop on those onions.
On this side is where you want to start to slice this onion.
You're just coming and making slices right here.
This is the ones that's gonna create that bed, right?
That's that separation from the bottom of the pot.
On top of that, you're gonna add your thyme and your rosemary.
And on top of that, you'll add those brown pork chops back to that dish.
And, you know, what you're doing basically is layering those flavors.
I'm starting to smell that browning is happening on that side, so I'm gonna turn over that pork chop.
And you can see we started to create the browning on that pork chop.
And then at the bottom of the pan as well, we started to let that flavor stick to that.
That's what we're gonna want to deglaze with those chopped onions and those bell peppers.
So now we got them browned on both sides.
We're gonna take those pork chops out, and I'm just setting them aside, and we'll bring them back to this beautiful pot.
So now we're getting ready to add our chopped onions.
And you can start to hear that sizzle.
That's what you want.
And as those onions start to cook, they'll start to pick up that flavor.
You can already see it starting to happen.
We'll add our celery.
We'll add our bell pepper.
And then you just want to move it around and work it.
All you're doing here is just building flavor upon flavor and enhancing this dish.
This is our first layer.
This is our protection of flavor.
We sliced those onions earlier.
We're gonna put those in.
Gonna add a few more to it.
And what you want to do is just really create that bed.
Once you put in your sliced onions, this is the time that you want to add your garlic.
So we're gonna add a little garlic right here.
Here I have some fresh thyme.
And then here I have some fresh rosemary.
♪ And as you can see, I made a nice bed, a nice basket for me to layer these pork chops on.
So here I have a little chicken stock.
This is gonna deglaze our pan last.
If you don't have chicken stock, a little water will do.
And you can see it's starting to simmer a little bit.
You want to keep it at a low simmer so it doesn't reduce too fast.
And that's right when it gets there, that's when you want to start to add these right back.
♪ ♪ And, of course, you cannot lose that great flavor that you caught in your pan, right?
That jus -- that just enhances this dish.
So now this is the time where you want to cover this pot, keep it on that low heat, and just let it sing for about 15 minutes.
So along with those beautiful smothered pork chops.
I love a Creole rice dressing, and this beautiful rice dressing goes perfect with that smothered pork chop that we have.
So to start that off, we have some chicken gizzards that we're blanching right in here in this pot.
And you can see it's starting to create some of that scum that rises to the top.
And all you want to do is take those impurities, skim that off, right?
Not only is this softening up those chicken gizzards that you're gonna cool down and chop up to fold into this rice dressing, but it's also creating a stock that you'll use a little bit to enhance that flavor.
As we let the gizzards go, we want to start to sauté these livers.
So you'll start with a little butter just to start to sauté this liver.
And as you can see, it's not too much, right?
This is about maybe four pieces of chicken liver that I want.
You don't want it to overpower the dish, but you want it to have that flavor.
We're gonna hit it with the little salt, a little pepper.
And that's the one thing you want to be careful with, right?
'Cause there's some water in here and some stuff that will pop with that butter.
So you don't want to be on the high heat.
You want to keep it just at a right low-to-medium heat.
You want to brown it just a little bit.
We're gonna pull this out and let it cool down.
We'll start to add our ground beef to this.
And, again, you're still browning, right?
You want to brown all that meat in that same pot.
You're just building flavor upon flavor upon flavor.
Another sausage that we grew up with here in New Orleans, we call it Chaurice sausage, or hot sausage.
So I have two pieces of our hot sausage links.
I'm just slicing it right out of that case.
This is made from -- you think of a pork shoulder, right?
And it has a lot of fat in it.
So this has oil in it.
That's why I didn't add too much butter or re-add butter to this pot.
This is gonna enhance that fat and that flavor coming out.
And you can see that fat in that pork sausage.
You can see those specks in there.
And what you want to do is you want to work this around, right?
You want to start to mixing that -- that Chaurice sausage with that ground beef, and you're trying to brown it, break it up a little bit.
We're gonna add a little salt.
We're gonna add a little pepper.
This has been blanching for about 10 minutes.
So now we can pull those chicken gizzards out.
And, again, we're gonna save this liquid 'cause we'll use a little bit just for that stock.
We'll put that on the side to cool.
This is the time where you start to want to add your vegetables.
We have our chopped onions.
We have our bell pepper.
A little bit of celery.
And we'll add our garlic.
And this is the stage where you start to check to see that fat level, right?
See here I'm a little done?
I'm gonna add a little bit more of my butter in there to help those vegetables cook down with that meat.
As that cooks down, I want to add a little bit of our dried thyme.
We use the thyme a lot in our dishes.
It just adds that great savory flavor.
Here we'll go with a little bit more of salt, and then I'm gonna use a pinch of cayenne pepper.
All right, you can see as your vegetables start to cook down with that meat, this is the time where you want to add just a little bit of your chicken gizzard stock that we use.
Also, I have a little bit of our beef stock that we have here, and not too much.
Just a little bit, right?
You don't never want to go over that meat, right?
You just want to have a little bit of flavor.
So while that is making magic in the pot, now's the time to start to rough chop your gizzards and your liver.
I'm gonna show you one thing about gizzards you want to look for -- there's a little membrane.
You see, it's sticking out on this side right here.
You want to cut that off.
That's something you're gonna discard, right?
And all we're doing here is just a rough chop on it.
Same thing with the liver.
You just want to do a little rough chop, and this liver just adds a -- oh, my goodness -- a well-balanced flavor to that dish.
We're gonna add our chicken gizzards back in.
We're gonna add our liver back to this dish.
And you want to have a little liquid in here, 'cause that liquid is gonna flavor that rice.
That's really what's gonna do the coating to that rice.
So if you see that it cooked down a little bit too much, you can add a little more stock to it and you're gonna let that reduce just a little bit more.
You got to make sure you have all your flavors right.
So you dip down.
Ooh, right on.
So you got to make sure you taste it to make sure that flavor is right where you want it to be before you add that rice.
So we look good.
I'm gonna add a little bit of this butter left just to bring that in, and we'll get ready to add our rice.
And you want to add the rice spoon at a time.
You don't want to just dump a bunch of rice in here, 'cause you want to have the consistency where you have enough meat towards rice.
So this may be too much rice that goes into this pot.
So we're not gonna do that.
We're gonna take a spoon, and we're gonna add it.
We're gonna fold it.
Take another spoon.
You're gonna add it.
And you're gonna fold it.
This is just boiled rice that we precooked, that I set aside.
So, you know, you can boil your rice, so this can be a rice left over from your Monday's red-beans-and-rice day, and now you're on Tuesday or Wednesday and you got a little bit of extra rice left over.
Hey, make a good old Creole rice dressing or dirty rice.
And this is right where you want to do it.
You see how that stuff is coating?
And this is the consistency that we're looking for.
I'm just gonna add a pinch more, and I won't use the rest of that rice 'cause I don't want to lose my flavor.
I don't want to overkill it.
That's it right here.
So we brought our pork chops in, and you can see it reduced perfectly.
You can see the bed is still there.
You got some of your sliced onions there.
And that gravy, that stock, has just picked up that enhanced flavor.
And also it coated with that flour, just to give you a little bit of body on those pork chops.
And there's just, if you can smell it, you can smell the thyme, you can smell the rosemary, you can smell the garlic, the onions.
There's really just gonna be a perfect balance to this rice dressing that we have here.
And now all you have to do is just serve it and bring it to the table and say it's time to eat.
The last little piece you want to do is you just want to add a little bit of your rosemary and your fresh thyme.
And we got some fresh green onions that we'll just put on top for color.
Well, this is something that you can do on a good Sunday meal and just relax and have everybody over.
Get ready for a comfortable seat on the sofa, 'cause you're gonna need it after this dish.
-The Chase family grew the business from a corner sandwich shop into a fine-dining establishment that served the African-American community in a segregated city.
-The one thing that has always been here from the start was our service to the community.
That's what Dooky's has always been about is, how can we serve our community?
And that started with my great-grandparents.
-From neighborhood sandwich shop to, you know, a place of, um... of acceptance for everyone, for first and foremost, and then where you could find some really good food.
-In my community, we had no good restaurants.
So that was -- that's my whole life, to bring the same thing back to my community.
-Our next dish is a Leah Chase staple -- chicken Creole that uses garden flavors to enhance chicken.
-I'm the sous chef today, so Chef Zoe is gonna take it away and just really create something that's magnificent that we learned from Chef Leah Chase.
-Yes, so first we're gonna add some oil to our pot.
We're gonna add our cut, sliced chicken breasts.
Actually, the chicken Creole was the first dish that Grandmother Chase taught me how to cook.
I remember in 2005, I was six, and after Katrina, we all lived in one house in Baton Rouge with all of our family.
And Grandmother Chase would always cook.
So we're gonna add to this some cayenne.
Some garlic powder.
Some Creole chicken seasoning.
And the last thing, of course, is salt.
-What a funny story Zoe talked about after Katrina and the Broussard house in Baton Rouge.
It was a lot of us growing up, and the lead matriarch was my grandmother, Leah Chase, and that's why we just honed a lot of those cooking skills watching her in the kitchen.
-Me and my sister would always run back and forth in the kitchen, and Grandmother would be like, "Get out of my kitchen!
Get out of my kitchen!"
And we were so eager to learn.
You know, we would see her standing over the pot cooking, and it was smelling so good.
And she would sometimes -- "Okay, pass me an onion.
Pass me a bell pepper."
And she would let us help sometimes.
But if we were too crazy, she would kick us out.
So we're just gonna flip our chicken over, and our chicken's gonna take maybe about 10 minutes to cook.
See, this is gonna give us our great flavor in our chicken Creole.
Now we're ready to pull it out, and we're gonna put our chicken on the side while we start on our roux.
Lower your heat to medium heat.
-Do our green bell pepper.
Smells so good.
Then we're gonna add our thyme.
-And, again, that's fresh thyme.
But if you have dried thyme flakes, you can certainly use that as well.
-Stir that around.
See, this is gonna pick up all that chicken fond at the bottom, and that's gonna give a wonderful flavor to the chicken Creole.
So now we're gonna add our flour.
Just maybe like two halves of the spoon.
Gonna let that cook off a little bit.
See, this is the color we're looking for -- like, a toasty brown.
You know that your roux is gonna be ready when it's getting to this color.
You don't want to burn it, 'cause then you'll have that burnt taste in your chicken Creole.
And we don't want that.
Now we're gonna add some tomato paste, and we're gonna incorporate that to our roux.
And we're gonna let this cook for like maybe two minutes.
-Tomato paste is a thickening agent as well, right?
So when you're building that roux, if you were to over-flour and use tomato paste, your gravy is gonna be a little bit too thick.
So that's why in the beginning, there's just a little bit of that flour.
-Now we'll add our diced tomatoes.
-This is just smelling amazing.
Every time she adds that liquid and it deglazes, you just get hit with a cloud of flavor.
-Then we'll add a little bit of fresh garlic.
We'll add some chicken stock.
See, that color is so beautiful.
You want that, you know, deep red.
Add a little water.
-And this is one of those dishes that, you know, at home, you can prepare real fast, let that simmer, and then just put a top on it and go about your daily chores once you get home, and then come back and it's ready.
You saw after that chicken stock, it was a little too thick.
So you want a little bit of water on the side just to loosen it up.
I mean, that's a beautiful consistency.
The color's there.
-We added a little more Creole seasoning, a little more cayenne, and we'll add a little more garlic powder.
And a little more salt.
-And now is my perfect time -- when Zoe's cooking, I get to be the taste tester.
You can taste everything.
You can taste that cayenne pepper.
You can taste those vegetables.
You can taste that tomato paste.
You can taste everything.
-So we want to let this come to a boil.
And when it comes to a boil, will add our chicken back in.
Now that we're boiling, we're gonna add our chicken back.
When you're browning your chicken, you don't have to take it all the way, 'cause it's still gonna cook more when you put it back in the sauce.
And we'll let this simmer for about 10 more minutes.
-And right here we have our fresh okra.
Some people cut this up and put it in their chicken Creole.
We like to leave ours whole at Dooky Chase.
-And the reason why we like to do that is we want you to taste every ingredient.
-We have a great thickness -- not too thick, but see how it coats the spoon?
That's exactly how you want it.
So now we're gonna add our fresh okra and we're gonna turn our heat down.
That okra just gives it that beautiful color, and it just looks great with that sauce.
So we'll add a little paprika at the end just to give it a little more color.
Now it's time to plate.
♪ -Oh, that's awesome.
-Turn this off.
And we'll add a little parsley on top.
We have chicken Creole.
-Chef Leah Chase and her husband, Edgar "Dooky" Chase Jr., turned the small restaurant into a touchstone for generations of New Orleans diners.
-Whatever my mother decided to do, she wanted to be the best at it.
And so therefore, she would never give up.
She would read books.
She would associate herself with people who knew about the culinary world and how you can make different dishes.
And that's what she did.
She was a lifetime learner.
-She's our matriarch.
She's our whole reason for this restaurant carrying on and our determination to carry it on in memory of my father and my mother.
We're never gonna move out of Faubourg Tremé.
We just love it here.
And we're gonna stay here.
And so that's that.
-A blend of fresh ingredients, including pineapple juice, makes a Sister Stell from beverage manager Eve Marie Haydel a toast-worthy mocktail.
-All right, well, we're gonna make a Sister Stell.
And this is named for my Aunt Stella.
We have a blend of all of our really fresh ingredients.
If there's no spirit, you got to make it really good, whatever it is, so all of our fresh ingredients that we make in house -- we have fresh lemon juice, our mint tea that we use, our strawberry shrub, and the pineapple juice for Sister Stell.
So we're gonna add our strawberry shrub.
And it's named Sister Stell because Sister Stell used to be in a convent, so she was gonna be a nun and decided she didn't want to go that route.
So she became a wonderful educator and a teacher in our school system here, but, again, doesn't drink but has to toast all of our dignitaries and our famous guests when they come in.
So we're gonna add all our fresh juices together in our mixing tin and give them a nice shake and blend them together like you're making a really good-shaken fruit punch, maybe.
But the complexity of the mint tea and the strawberry shrub and things like that, it gives it just a different level than just a straight fruit juice.
So there's our blended juices.
And then our mocktail -- it wouldn't be fitting if it wasn't sparkling or topped with something sparkling.
So we're gonna just top it with some sparkling water.
You can top with soda.
And then we're gonna go ahead and garnish that with a nice fresh-cut pineapple.
So cheers to Sister Stell, the matriarch of our family, my dear Aunt Stell.
-Chef Leah Chase spent a lifetime uplifting the community and building bridges through food.
For more meals that bring people together, join the Chase family next time on "The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy."
-Leah Chase's iconic book, "The Dooky Chase Cookbook," has been updated and includes all-new recipes from the series you're watching.
The cookbook is available for $27.95, plus shipping and handling.
To order, please call 1-866-388-0834 or order online at wyes.org.
-My grandparents, just like my mother and my father, they were giving people.
They were loving people.
They were religious people.
-She didn't want to be just the cute little girl that sat on the porch in the city and waited for a boy to come and notice her and take her out.
She wanted to be a woman on the move that could set her own pace, determine her own life, determine her own direction.
-She didn't really come into the restaurant till I went to school, so prior to that, she was home, and she was a wonderful homemaker.
But I think -- I think she was happy to come and start getting involved and being part of the family more and battling her way in, and then ultimately, you know, turning it into what it has come to be.
-I hope she's proud.
I hope she knows that we're doing everything that my grandparents and my great-grandparents taught us to do and set that foundation.
And I hope when we misstep, it's a little birdie that comes in our dreams and say, "Hey, hey, get back on track."
-For more information about "The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy," visit wyes.org.
Funding for "The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah's Legacy" was provided by...