Chicken Smothered with Black-Eyed Peas

from the kitchen of Chef Paul Prudhomme

Makes 4-6 servings

5 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic®
1 (4-pound) stewing or roasting hen, cut in 8-10 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying
¼ cup chicken fat (preferred), or shortening
9 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2½ cups finely chopped onions
1½ cups finely chopped celery
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Pepper Sauce®
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
11 cups chicken stock or water
About 3 cups hot cooked rice (preferably converted)
how to prepare

Sprinkle a total of about 1 tablespoon of the Poultry Magic® evenly on the chicken pieces, patting it in by hand.  Combine 1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons of the Poultry Magic® with the flour in a plastic or paper bag, mixing well.  Set aside. 

In a large skillet heat ½-inch oil to 350º over high heat.  Just before frying, dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.  Fry the hen in the hot oil (large pieces and skin side down first) until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.  (Adjust heat as needed to maintain the oil's temperature at about 350º.)  Drain on paper towels and set aside. 

In a 5½ quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, melt the fat over high heat.  Add the bacon and cook just until it starts to get crisp, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in the onions, celery, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of the Magic Pepper Sauce.  Cook until vegetables start to get tender, about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the peas, 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon Poultry Magic® and the sage, stirring well.  Cook until all the oil and juice is absorbed and mixture starts sticking excessively, about 2-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add the stock, chicken pieces and remaining 1 tablespoon Magic Pepper Sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken and peas are tender, about 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally.  (Note:  Cooking time will vary according to toughness of hen.)  If desired, adjust seasoning toward the end of cooking time with additional Poultry Magic®.  To serve, place 1-2 pieces of chicken on each plate.  Mound about ½ cup rice to the side, then top the rice with about ½ cup peas.  Spoon extra sauce over the peas and chicken.

Copyright © 1984 by Paul Prudhomme