New Year’s Day wouldn’t be a holiday without these four things:
- Black eyed peas
Ever since I was little, my mom has been making pork & black eyed peas for the holiday. It’s a tradition held by many kitchens across the country, and most importantly the south. There’s something inherently nostalgic about the meal. Black eyed peas are the reason for the season.
This year I was battling a stomach bug, but I still managed to make a black eyed pea dish a few days later. I knew I wanted to make something different; I didn’t want to just make black eyed peas cooked slowly with a ham hock and bacon. After many ideas flew through my brain, I settled on a chili.
Wait, what? Chili with black eyed peas?
You’d be surprised how well the little black spotted beans work in a chili. I know it’s a major faux pas to put beans in chili (if you know beans about chili, you know there’s no beans in chili), but this was more of a stew than a real chili. I used my two favorite chili powders (chipotle and ancho), threw a large can of green chiles in the mix (so is it more like three chiles I used?!?) and diced up some chicken thighs to make it heartier.
And don’t forget the bacon.
This recipe makes a lot. I was eating on it for days and days. With temperatures dipping into the single digits here for a while, it was a welcome dinner to help warm the body up. Top it with whatever you like: cilantro, sour cream, or chopped onions. Or, you can be like me and crumble cornbread on top and mix it all together before shoveling it into your mouth. I never said I was classy.
Chicken & Black Eyed Pea Chili
A stew with black eyed peas, chicken, bacon, green chilis and chili powder.
- 6 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- salt & pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. dried black eyed peas, soaked and drained
- 1 (14.5 oz) can corn, drained
- 1 (8 oz.) can chopped green chiles
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- In a large pot, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Add chicken to bacon drippings and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add onion and garlic. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add peas, corn, green chiles, cumin, chili powders, cayenne, cooked bacon, chicken broth and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, uncovered, for one hour; stirring occasionally. Add more water if chili is too thick. Serve with cilantro, sour cream and chopped onions.
In a large pot, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Add chicken to bacon drippings and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add peas, corn, green chiles, bacon, cumin, chili powders, cayenne, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until peas are tender. Add more water if chili is too thick. Serve with cilantro, sour cream and chopped onions.