Hoppin' John Recipe

This hearty side dish brings together two Lowcountry favorites: rice and black-eyed peas.

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Yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 strips lean bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound dry black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or more to taste
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • 4 chopped green onions

Cook bacon in an 8-quart stock pot over medium low heat for 5 minutes or until crispy. (If desired, set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish) Add onion, celery, and green pepper. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in stock or broth, bay leaf, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Drain black-eyed peas and stir into vegetable mixture. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 50 to 60 minutes or until peas are tender. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Serve peas with a slotted spoon over rice.

TIP Black eyed peas are not as starchy as other dried beans and don’t usually require a lengthy soak before cooking. Older beans may take longer to cook until tender; add 1 cup additional water or broth if liquid evaporates before beans are tender. 

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