In a 1 gallon stock pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, render the Tasso for 2-3 minutes. Add the onions and continue sautéing for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves and ham hocks. Season with salt and pepper. Add the black-eyed peas and chicken stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the peas are tender. Remove the ham hocks from the pot and remove the meat. Add the meat back to the peas and reseason if necessary.
Yield: 6-8 servings