Aired August 27, 2007
1 1/2 cups rice
1 quart plus 3 cups chicken stock, divided
1 package (4 links) andouille sausage, casings removed and diced
5 ribs celery, chopped
2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
Hot sauce, to taste
1 pound frozen black-eyed peas
1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes
Place a medium-size saucepot over high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and cook the rice until tender, about 18 minutes.
Once the rice is cooking, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO. Add the andouille and cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the celery, green bell pepper, onion, bay leaf, sweet potato and hot sauce to taste. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until onions start to get tender. Add black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes and remaining quart of chicken stock. Turn the heat up to high and bring up to a bubble. Once bubbling, lower heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
To serve, place a large scoop of rice in a soup bowl and add enough Hoppin' John to almost cover the rice. Give it a stir to combine. By cooking the rice separately, you never run the risk of the rice getting mushy on you and it will be waiting for you whenever you are ready to eat!