A kind of cowpea, the black-eyed pea or bean (Vigna unguiculata unguiculata), is a mild-tasting, kidney-shaped legume with a black ring at its center, typically used as a dried bean. Southern U.S. legend has it that eating blackeyes at New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity in the coming year.
- 2 cups black-eyed peas
- 1 quart chicken stock or water
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig sage
- 1 branch rosemary
- 1 branch celery, cut in 4
- 1/4 onion, peeled
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 1/2 carrot, peeled and rough cut
- 1 head garlic, split
- 1/4 cup rendered duck fat
- Kosher salt to taste
Cover the peas with water in a nonreactive saucepan, and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (no soaking). Discard the water; rinse the peas and pot. Return the peas to the pot, add the chicken stock or water, and bring to a boil.
In the meantime, make a bouquet garni by wrapping the thyme, sage and rosemary with the celery branch pieces and kitchen twine like a tourniquet.
Once the stock has come to a boil, skim the impurities and add the onion, tomato, carrot, bouquet garni and garlic, and continue cooking at a strong simmer/soft boil until the peas are tender (about 45 minutes).
Strain the beans, saving the liquid. Transfer the peas to a long baking pan, toss with the rendered duck fat and reserve.
Using tongs, pick out the vegetables and bouquet and return to the pot with the reserved liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook down to a glaze. Remove the bouquet. Pass the vegetables and glaze through a food mill.
In a mixing bowl, combine the puree with the peas and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away.