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Friday, September 11, 2020

Chicken with Black-eyed Peas and Cherry Tomatoes

As we approach the end of summer, my garden-based meals start to reflect heartiness often found in fall and winter dishes. I credit the harvest of my black-eyed peas. This recipe is one that can be enjoyed all year round. 



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Chicken with Black-eyed Peas and Cherry Tomatoes


Source: Christian Science Monitor which adapted a Bon App├ętit recipe for sausage
Serves 6-8

4 pieces bacon, cut in quarter inch slices
8 bone-in chicken pieces (if using breasts, cut them in half)
salt and pepper
1 rounded teas dried thyme, divided (or 1 T fresh thyme)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c dry white wine
1 11-oz or 12-oz frozen shelled black eyed peas, thawed (about 2 cups)
8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed
8-10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved if large

Place the bacon into a nonstick skillet or saute pan and cook until the fat is rendered and it is as crisp as you like. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon and hold until later.

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and half of the dried thyme. (If you're using fresh thyme don't add it at this point.) Place the chicken in the pan and cook over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on both sides. Move chicken to a plate or half sheet pan. Remove some of the bacon fat leaving a couple of tablespoons in the pan. 

Cook the onion slices until translucent. Add the garlic and the rest of the dried thyme and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil and add the broth. Stir in the black-eyed peas until combined.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan as well as the juices that accumulated while set aside. Reduce the heat and cover the pan and cook until the black-eyed peas are beginning to become tender, around 15-20 minutes. Stir in the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until heated about 5 more minutes. The tomatoes should begin to split and the broth should be thickening, If you are using fresh thyme, now is the time to add it. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper if necessary.

While the black-eyed peas and vegetables are cooking, it's a good idea to check the temperature of the chicken pieces. With a probe thermometer make sure the breast pieces are at 165F and the thighs and legs are at 175F. If the chicken reaches the target temperatures, remove and set on a plate while everything else cooks. Replace in the pan and warm the chicken before serving with the chicken placed on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over all. 

Serve the chicken on top of the vegetables and black-eyed peas.

Notes: 

You can shell your own black-eyed peas in season if you wish. Aim for about 2 cups of fresh shell peas.

If you prefer to skip the wine, increase the broth to 3 cups and just before serving the dish stir in a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.

If you are cooking this when available green beans are substandard, I think you could experiment with subbing other vegetables, such as halved brussels sprouts (although you might need a larger pan since they don't have the slim lines of a green bean). 

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