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BRQ's smoked rabbit pot pie

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BRQ co-owner and executive chef Justin Ferguson

Justin Ferguson has worn a lot of hats: father, Army veteran, Louisiana Culinary Institute graduate, executive chef, restaurant owner.

Following two tours in Iraq, Ferguson returned to Baton Rouge, his hometown, and fell into the culinary world. While he was stationed in Germany in between deployments to the Middle East, Ferguson was able to travel around Europe and developed an appreciation for food. Ferguson knew he wanted to cook, so he enrolled in the Louisiana Culinary Institute, graduating in 2005.

Over the years, he has gained experience by working with seasoned chefs and restaurateurs in New Orleans, Boston and Chicago. Ferguson has even worked with Oprah’s former personal chef, Art Smith.

Ferguson and his partners in 2017 opened BRQ Seafood and Barbeque, serving up competition-style barbecue in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The success of the restaurant’s Jefferson Highway location led the team to open a second BRQ last year in Denham Springs.

In this edition of "Let’s Dish," Justin shows us how he makes BRQ’s smoked rabbit pot pie, a special at the Denham Springs location. “I think rabbit is not used enough, and I grew up eating it,” Ferguson said. “I wanted to show it is comfort food and felt pot pie was a good way to introduce it in the restaurant.”

Although this dish can be made in a home kitchen, it is labor-intensive. Ferguson demonstrated how he makes the dish in the kitchen of BRQ’s Denham Springs location, where he had access to several already prepared ingredients.

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This dish uses carrots, peas, celery, garlic, onion, fresh thyme, fresh tarragon, blond roux, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, cayenne, smoked chicken stock and smoked rabbit.

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The rabbit is seasoned with BRQ’s Pig Powder Rub.

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The rabbit is smoked for 30 to 45 minutes.

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All vegetables are placed in a large pot and cooked through, adding cayenne pepper, kosher salt and a generous amount of white wine in the process.

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Blond roux is added to thicken the mixture.

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A generous amount is plated onto house-made biscuits and served with slaw.