Render down the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the onions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with just a little salt; too much will make the black-eyed peas break up later. Stir in the ham hocks, bringing them to the bottom of the pot to braise for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the black-eyed peas, thyme, garlic and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a slow simmer. Cook until the peas are tender, 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes.
Remove the pork meat, finely mince it and then return to the pot. Remove the thyme and bay leaves.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.