Hoppin' John is not only on the New Years Day menu in most low-country homes, but is eaten throughout the year. You just must have collard greens and cornbread to serve with this.
This recipe was in The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcounty Cooking, that my dear friend Dulcie sent me last week. If you are a low-country food lover as I am, this book is a must have.
Mr. Dugger, who created the recipe, was the head butcher at Savannah's old Smith Bros. Grocery. His recipe was published in the Savannah Morning New more than 5 decades ago.
Hoppin' John Savannah Style
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups dried cowpeas (field peas), soaked overnight
2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup water
3/4 pound hog jowl, finely chopped
2 cups rice
1 cup chicken broth
Combine all ingredients except for the rice and chicken broth in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium for 15 minutes. Then reduce to low and cook approximately 1 hour, or until done.
Add the raw rice and chicken broth and cook entire mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes or until done. Serve immediately with corn bread and collard greens.