In a 7-qt. dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 1/4 cups water, the chicken broth, bay leaves, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, lower the heat and simmer, undisturbed, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Quickly scatter the peas on top, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and let cool completely, tossing once or twice. Discard the bay leaves.