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Hoppin’ John + Roast Chicken

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
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Why we love it:

Hoppin’ John is a southern dish that symbolizes luck in the New Year. The black-eyed peas are meant to stand for pennies. In 2020, we wish you much more than just pennies, but it couldn’t hurt to eat this on January 1st just to see if it works, right? This dish takes longer to boil dry beans and roast a whole chicken but much is inactive time. See the substitutions list if you would like to turn this into a 30 minute meal.


  • 3 cups Black-Eyed Peas (Dried)
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 Chicken, Whole (about 3.5-4.25 pounds)
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 12 pound Bacon (thick-cut slices)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3 ribs Celery (save some leaves for garnish!)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (small)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon

Cooking Instructions


    In a pot, bring black-eyed peas and water to a boil. Stir well and turn to medium-low, partially cover. Simmer peas for 40 minutes. (instructions continue below)

  • 3. CHICKEN

    Place the chicken in a large casserole dish. Flip its wing ends behind the neck of the bird. If you have some twine, tie the leg bones together at the bottom. If you don’t, you can skip this part but it won’t look as classic.

  • 4. SPICES

    Mix together the pepper, salt, cayenne and thyme. Spoon about 2/3 of the spice mix over the chicken evenly. Dot the skin with the butter and place it in the middle of the oven. Roast for about 60 minutes or until done.

    *It will be done when the leg registers 165 degrees on a thermometer. Or, when the leg meat is cooked through, you can test by sliding in a paring knife and taking a look if needed.

  • 5. BACON

    Dice the bacon into squares. Heat a large flat bottom pan with at least 2” sides over medium-heat heat. Add olive oil and the bacon. Sauté for about 6 minutes or until the bacon has begun to brown.

  • 6. VEGGIES

    Meanwhile, dice the onion, carrot, celery and bell pepper all into a small dice. Mince the garlic cloves. Add this to the bacon and sauté it all for another 6 minutes. Add the remaining spice blend.


    Once they’re done boiling for 35-40 minutes, they should be tender but not falling apart. Drain them but reserve a ½ cup of the boiling liquid.

    Stir into the pan with the veggies and bacon. Pour in the cooking liquid. Zest and juice the lemon into the pot.

    Taste the mixture. It may need salt, add ½ teaspoon or a pinch at a time as needed.

  • 8. CHICKEN

    When the chicken is done, remove from the oven. When ready, slice the leg and thigh. Remove the breast meat and slice it.

  • 9. SERVING

    Serve a big scoop of beans and top with chicken. If you have celery leaves left, garnish the plates with them.

Check out our new features!


    simply omit butter on the chicken and brush with olive oil
  • PALEO:
    omit the black-eyed peas. Make the veggie sauté as described but add a few cups of cauliflower rice to the dish instead
  • BACON:
    don’t eat meat? Leave it out. Or use a small dice of chicken sausage in its place
    use skin on chicken breasts or legs/thighs instead
    ok, it won’t be Hoppin’ John if you sub these out, but the dish will taste great with white beans, garbanzo beans or lentils, too
  • BEANS:
    don’t eat them? Use cooked rice or quinoa. Try cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles stirred in to the sauté pan
    use chicken cutlets with the spice blend and sauté them. Or use chicken pieces, leg/thigh and breasts cut in parts. Rub with spices and roast for closer to 20-30 minutes total. Use canned black-eyed peas! They just need to be drained and warmed through, no boiling necessary. Limit the salt
    reduce the cayenne pepper if worried about heat. Kids will love the chicken and may just try a bean or two if you use bacon as a bribe. If not, they can have a scoop of the sautéed carrots/veggie mix before you add beans in. Or, if they’re the raw veg type, while you’re cutting them up, leave them a few peppers, carrots, and celery spears on the side
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