Chef Folse's Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya (Hopping John)

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 8 Servings

Although the origin of the name "Hopping John" is a bit obscure, many food historians surmise that the name originated from Confederate soldiers describing the action of the peas hopping in a pot of boiling water during the cooking process. Black-eyed peas were brought to America by the Africans and, regardless of whether eaten in a jambalaya or as a side dish, the peas are indeed a Southern delicacy.


2 (16-ounce) cans of black-eyed peas
1/2 cup bacon fat or vegetable shortening
8 boneless chicken thighs
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
1/2 cup diced yellow bell peppers
1/4 cup diced garlic
1 pound ham, cubed
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Louisiana hot sauce to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degress F. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat bacon fat or shortening over medium-high heat. Brown chicken thighs, four at a time, and remove from pan. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Add ham and smoked sausage. Cook 3-5 additional minutes. Add black-eyes peas and chicken stock and season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. You may wish to over season slightly as the rice will absorb much of the seasoning. Add rice, green onions and parsley. Blend well, bring to a rolling boil, cover and place in oven. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.