Split Peas Cook-up Rice
Split Peas Cook-up Rice with Chicken and Smoked Turkey is a savory rice dish that cooked in a seasoned coconut broth.  The smoked turkey adds a deep flavor to this dish, the split peas and smoked turkey are cooked together which creates a smoky broth.  Bone-in chicken pieces are seasoned with garlic, onion, married man pork then sautéed in its own juices.   Split Peas Cook-up is a  one pot creole dish that is the perfect Guyanese comfort food.   Serve with homemade pepper sauce, achar and cool sliced cucumber which perfectly complements this dish.


  • Soak peas overnight, this cuts down on the cooking time. If you’re short on time, soak peas in hot water for an hour while you prep for the recipe.
  • Boil the peas until it’s firm but crushed when pressed between your fingers. It should not be mushy or soft or it will overcook and disintegrate in the cook-up.  This will give the cook-up a pasty texture which you don’t want.
  • Use bone-in chicken for the best flavor. If using boneless chicken, dark meat pieces are best as chicken breast will become dry.
  • Always add a little liquid at a time as needed. Don’t add too much because you can always add but you can’t remove any extra liquid and this can cause the rice to become mushy.

Split Peas Cook-up Rice



  • 1 cup split peas, soaked for an hour in warm water
  • 1 lb smoked turkey wings, cut into pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp dried married man pork or basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-13 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cups rice
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 wiri wiri pepper
  • Salt to taste


  • Place split peas, smoked turkey wing and 6 cups of water to a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes just until the peas can be crushed between your fingers when pressure is applied but it should not be soft or mushy. If peas are soaked overnight it will cook in less time, about 15 minutes.
  • Season chicken pieces with garlic, onion, scallion, chicken bouillon powder, dried married man pork and black pepper and mix to coat. This can be done the night before and allowed to marinate in the fridge.
  • When the peas have finished cooking, strain the liquid and reserve for using.
  • In a large pot, sauté the seasoned chicken in hot oil over high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and stir to break up the bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes then add rice, peas and smoked turkey, bay leaf, thyme and wiri wiri pepper. Add about 2 cup of the liquid that was reserved from the split peas and smoked turkey then bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to simmer and then cover the pot. Check periodically and add addition liquid if needed.
  • Cook for about 25 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and discard thyme stems and bay leaves before serving.


Author: Jehan Powell