I am not from the South and have no claim to this culinary heritage, but man oh man, I surely do love my collard greens! Sharp bitter greens mellowed by hours on the stovetop, the tangy vinegary pot likker, and the rich feel-good flavor of smoked turkey or a ham hock in the mix. Yes ma'am, that's good stuff.
The Recipe: After you’ve made greens once or twice you really don’t need a recipe, and if you learned at the elbow of the family matriarch that’s the only recipe you’re ever going to want. But I found this one from Divas Can Cook to be an excellent starting point for greens-newbies and a reminder for those who have strayed from their stove tops for a while.
What Makes This Special: You’re either a greens person or you aren’t. You either feel it or you don’t. There’s no explaining the special. It just is. This concludes our Yoda moment for today.
Table Tips: Consider offering punch cups (or vintage tea cups) for the collard greens so guests can enjoy a nice big portion without drenching everything else on the plate with the juices.
The Verdict: This is not pretty food or fancy food. It is comfort food of the first degree. When you need some soul satisfaction, especially as the autumn and winter months intrude, put a big old pan of greens on the stove.
Everything is going to be all right.
Recipe source: Divas Can Cook
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large smoked turkey leg (fully cooked)
- 32 ounces collard greens, thoroughly washed and cut into strips
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste
- In a large deep skillet or pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.
- Add in onions and cook until tender.
- Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add chicken broth, red pepper flakes and smoked turkey.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
- Cover and boil lightly for about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove turkey leg and let cool.
- Remove meat from bone and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Return meat back to the pot.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add collard greens to pot, pushing them down if needed.
- When greens begin to wilt down, cover and simmer over very low heat for up to 60 minutes or until your desired texture is reached, stirring occasionally.
- Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Plate the greens and pour on a few drops of hot sauce.
- Serve hot.