Crowder peas are part of a Southern pea group called field peas. They were most likely brought to America by Spanish explorers or African slaves. Fresh crowder peas have a more robust flavor than black-eyed peas or cream peas and are known for the dark juices they leave in the pot. Prepare dried crowder peas by soaking them overnight. Cooking crowder peas is not at all complicated, but they do benefit from some flavoring, so boil crowder peas with bacon, ham or salt pork.
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Place your crowder peas in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak overnight.
Set a colander in the, sink and pour the crowder peas into it. Let them drain.
Put your chopped bacon into a large pot on the stove, and turn the burner to medium-high. Let the bacon cook, stirring it occasionally, until the bottom of the pot is coated with bacon drippings.
Add the onion and garlic. Cook them, stirring occasionally, until the onion gets soft, about five to seven minutes.
Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and stir the vegetables up from the bottom. Bring the broth to a boil.
Add the crowder peas, and bring the broth back to a boil. Cover the pot, and turn the heat down to a low simmer.
Simmer the crowder peas until they are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Season them with cracked or cayenne pepper to taste.