Happy twenty-ten! My New Year’s meal was spent with good friends celebrating Kwanzaa while eating black-eyed peas mixed with couscous, collard greens, baked chicken, lasagna, and other delicious pot luck dishes. We started the evening by giving thanks to our ancestors (Ashay!) and honoring our community elder. Our hostess asked her guests to bring two pieces of fruit. We brought her a pineapple and a banana.
The next day, I slept in a few more extra hours and started making our New Year’s dinner: baked chicken with roasted root vegetables, black-eyed peas over brown rice, Brazilian collard greens, and a sparkling wine that was (…ahem) too sweet!
- 1 to 2 c. dried black-eyed peas
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda*
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, a small dice
- 2 stalks of celery; a small dice
- 1 green pepper, a small dice
- Roughly chopped smoked turkey wing or leg with bone and skin
- 2 peeled carrots; discard ends and cut into a small dice
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 32 oz. of chicken stock/broth; low-sodium
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- One bunch of fresh thyme, tied together with twine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large bunch of fresh Italian parsley; minced and divided in half; plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary; minced
- A few sage leaves; minced
- Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Cooked brown rice
- Mix black-eyed peas and baking soda in a bowl of water. Beans should be completely submerge in water. Cover and soak beans overnight. Rinse and strain beans and place aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add sautéed onions, celery, green pepper, carrots and smoked turkey. Cook and occasionally stir until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add garlic and stir for 30 sec. Add smoked paprika and crushed red pepper, salt, and fresh black pepper. Continue to stir for a couple minutes. Add tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, fresh herbs (first half of parsley), chicken stock and beans. Cover and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and keep pot covered. Stir occasionally. Depending on the freshness of the beans, check pot after 20 minutes and adjust seasoning.
- Continue to cook until the beans are to desired tenderness, about another 25 minutes or more (The time depends on the freshness of the beans). Add second half cup of parsley. Discard bay leaf and thyme, if desired (I don’t mind them floating in the pot, but other cooks remove them).
- Serve over brown rice. Garnish with parsley.
*Adding baking soda is optional, but it reduces flatulence.
Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables
- Fresh Sage leaves, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
- Fresh Rosemary leaves, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
- Fresh Italian Parsley, reserve a few leaves for the cavity of the chicken
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- The juice of two lemons, divided; save lemon rinds
- salt and pepper
- 1 whole chicken, cleaned
- 3 to 4 large unpeeled potatoes, scrubbed cleaned and quartered
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped, save a few pieces for the cavity of the chicken
- 3 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced, save a few cloves for the cavity of the chicken
- Parsnips and/or carrots; peeled and cleaned, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 or 3 stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Place first six ingredients, the juice of ONE lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor. Puree until smooth (a slight chunky texture is fine). Place whole chicken in a ziplock or a bowl. Pour marinade over chicken. Marinade for at least one hour to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place potatoes, onions, garlic, parsnips, carrots and celery in a roasting pan. Sprinkle olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, the second lemon, salt and pepper over vegetables and mix together. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with rosemary, sage, garlic, onions and the lemon rinds. Tie chicken legs together with twine. Place chicken over the vegetables, breast side down. Reserve marinade in a sauce pan. Place chicken in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat marinade in a pan over medium heat. Reduce marinade in half and turn off heat and cover.
- After 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°f. Remove chicken from oven and turn over, breast side up. Brush the rest of the marinade over the chicken. Place the chicken back in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is finished cooking.
- After the chicken is finish cooking, remove only the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes on a carving board. Cut the chicken into eight or ten pieces.
- If necessary, let the vegetables continue to cook in the oven for an additional 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Brazilian Collard Greens
- 1 bunch of collard greens, throughly cleaned at least 3 times in water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
- Crushed red pepper; to taste
- (Optional) 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- Vinegar to taste (balsamic, white balsamic, sherry vinegar and so forth)
- Cut and discard thick stalk/stem from collard greens. Roll a few leaves. lengthwise, similar to a cigar. Cut leaves into 1/8 inch wide strips. Repeat with the rest of the greens.
- Over medium-high heat, preheat olive oil in a sautéed pan. Add onions and sautéed until translucent. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, and paprika and stir for 30 sec. Add collard greens in small amounts. Let it wilt and add more collard greens until none is left.
- (Optional) Add diced tomatoes and a dash of vinegar. Cook for a few minutes, until desired tenderness and taste.
- Serve warm.