Black eyed peas

Being from Missouri, we never…. NEVER ate black eyed peas. Now that I live in Texas they are a staple. It has taken me several years to get a spice variety I like. Now that I have it down, I could easily eat these every day. I based my recipe off the Paula Dean variation. It is warm, comforting, and just a little flavor with still allowing the peas to shine. We even grow the peas, jalapeno, onion, and okra right in our backyard. How easy is that?

This is a true “dump and go’ type recipe. It cooks for 2 hours, which can seem a bit long, but there is little that needs to be done to it once it is in the pot. It just needs a few stirs here and there.

This recipe does not work well using dried black eyed peas because of cooking time. They require much longer cooking, and I personally do not like the way they taste as much. It is a lot better to buy fresh peas or even the frozen type that can be found near frozen vegetables at the grocery store.

These black eyes peas are really a meal in itself. Serve them with cornbread and they are perfect. My husband and I like them with BBQ chicken and cornbread. For extra luck, add a side of cabbage.

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2-3 cups black eyes peas – fresh or frozen

6 slices of bacon

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 handful frozen okra slices or 2-3 pods fresh okra sliced

6-8 cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon guajillo chili powder

 

Cook the bacon in a dutch oven. Drain the grease and replace the bacon in the pan.

Add all of the ingredients. Cover. Simmer on medium or low for 2 hours.  Stir every 30-45 minutes. Add more water if needed.

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Chicken and okra creole

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This happens to be one of the times where I want the tastiest chicken possible. Sometimes when chicken is braised in sauce or made in a crock pot, it turns rubbery or over cooks to mush and cannot be identified as chicken. For that reason, I prefer grilling the chicken breast first and adding it at very end. Also, you could use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.

This recipe also allows me to use all the okra we grow in the garden.

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1 cup sliced okra

1 can corn, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño, sliced

1 large (1 pound) chicken breast, grilled and sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

3 large tomatoes, rough chopped

1/4-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

green onions, diced for garnish

cooked white rice to serve with

 

Heat the oil in a wok or pot on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth, cayenne, bay leaf, tomatoes, paprika, thyme, corn and okra. Simmer on low uncovered for about 10-15 minutes stirring often. Add in chicken. Cook another 3-5 minutes until chicken is just heated. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Serve over rice and top with green onions.

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