Black-Eyed Pea Recipe for Good Luck in the New Year

 Image of Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Stew from  Taste of the South  Magazine.

Image of Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Stew from Taste of the South Magazine.

Bonus blog!  I know I just posted yesterday on 2018 food trends.  But the frigid temperatures and snow on this, the eve of New Year's Eve, inspired me to cook up a comforting dish for good luck in the New Year and I wanted to share it with you just in time! 

Depending on where you're from different foods are considered traditional fare for a prosperous New Year.  Noodles are the dish of choice in Asian cultures, cabbage in Germany, lentils in Italy and pomegranates in Middle-Eastern cultures.  Pork is common in the U.S. and according to southern tradition eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck.  There are many superstitions as to why but I'm going with it because they taste good and have plenty of health benefits

There are many variations on hearty and comforting black-eyed pea stew but here's our twist on one of our favorites inspired by Taste of the South Magazine's  slow cooker recipe.

Chicken And Black-Eyed Pea Stew

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups chopped yellow onion
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (optional)
1# dried black-eyed peas, cooked or 4, 15.5-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable if ommiting chicken)
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10 oz fresh spinach leaves, chopped

In a large stock-pot, heat oil over medium- high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more.  Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.  Add remaining ingredients except vinegar and spinach. 
Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook on until vegetables are tender.   Discard bay leaves. Stir in vinegar and spinach to wilt. 

Variation:  If you enjoy Eggs in Hell or Shakshuka then you'll love this stew for breakfast.  Here's a step-by-step technique.  By the way, this makes for a great killer hangover recovery breakfast.  (Not that I would know anything about that or that you would need something to help you recover but I'm sharing it just in case...)

1.  Transfer leftovers to a saute pan and bring to a boil.

Black-eyed pea stew

2.  Make wells in the stew with the back of a spoon and add 3 or 4 eggs. 

Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Eggs

3.  Reduce heat.   Cover and simmer 7-10 minutes depending on how well done you like your eggs.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Black-eyed pea stew with eggs