Hoppin’ John

by Chef

This deep-rooted Southern dish of black-eyed peas and rice is always hailed as a delight and served on New Year’s Day. The earliest appearance in print seems to be in Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife (1847), and it’s important to note that everything was cooked together in the same pot. Aphorisms include “eat poor that day; eat rich all year long.” Another, “place a dime in the black-eyed peas just before serving; whoever finds the coin will have good luck throughout the year.” My favorite saying is “rice for riches and peas for peace.” What the heck, folks; a little prayer may bring some extra good luck and we can all use that. Here is my recipe for New Year’s Eve 2016 and wishing you all a Happy New Year from the entire Jackson’s crew.

Serves: 6


  • 1 ¼ cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 cups ham hock broth (or store-bought chicken broth)
  • 2 cups chopped bacon (or cooked ham hock removed from bone)
  • 1 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 ounces white rice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Soak the peas overnight in water to plump the peas, and then rinse them the next day before cooking. In a heavy soup pot add cooked ham hock (or chopped bacon) and diced onions. Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, then add garlic and stir. Add the black-eyed peas into the hot mixture and stir to coat the peas. Once the peas are coated well, add broth and bay leaf, then cover and cook the peas slowly for 1 hour. Add and stir in rice; let simmer with the lid on for an additional 30 minutes. Turn off and let sit until serving. Before serving, stir, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper