I’m a Brooklyn girl with down south roots and I love me some Soul Food. Black Eyed Peas with Smoked Turkey Necks is one of my favorite dishes. Throw it over some white rice or even eat it alone and you have a hearty and healthy meal. Black eyed peas are full of protein and help to lower cholesterol. Can’t go wrong with dishes that are tasty and good for you.
I remember my Grandma used to make Black Eyed Peas every New Years Eve as part of our first meal of the year as it is said that they bring good luck. I used to watch her closely and the only thing that I changed is the type of meat . My Grandma used pork neck bones or slab bacon and bacon grease. I no longer eat pork so I use the smoked turkey necks and chicken grease instead. Whenever I fry chicken I keep the leftover grease in the fridge since I use in in my black eyed peas, collard greens and cabbage. So I always have some on hand. This recipe is easy but requires a little preparation in advance.
What you will need…
roughly 2 lbs of smoked turkey necks (about 10 pieces)
1 lb bag of dried black eyed peas
about a 1/4 cup of leftover chicken grease (grease used to fry chicken)
cooked white rice
Soak the dried black eyed peas overnight or for at least 6 hours in cold water. Make sure that there is enough water in the dish to cover the peas completely as they will swell. When the peas are ready, sort through them for any that are bruised or broken and remove to discard. Rinse well.
In a large pot, bring about 5 cups of water to a boil and add the smoked turkey necks. Cook on medium heat for about twenty minutes. Add the black eyed peas slowly while stirring. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for four hours stirring constantly.
About halfway through, stir in the chicken grease and add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t really need any other seasonings since black eyed peas are naturally flavorful and the smoked turkey necks and chicken grease will add flavor while the peas cook. I like the juice in my peas thick but if you like a thinner juice just add more water, and salt & pepper to taste.
That’s it. Now serve in a bowl over white rice and enjoy!
By the way, you can freeze the leftovers in a freezer storage bag and reheat on the stove. Tastes just as good as fresh.