Monday, December 29, 2014

Tasty Traditional Collard Greens

Today's post is a special one!  For the first time ever on my blog, I have a guest poster!  My handsome and clever husband has agreed to write up and share his famous recipe for collard greens.  First off, let me say that I am generally not a big fan of greens.  In fact, I was not a big fan of even my husband's greens for a long time (despite most people loving them).  However, being the amazing husband he is, he worked on the recipe over several years, and eventually created a collard green recipe that even I could love!  This recipe involves a lot of time and effort, but is well worth it.  It makes a fantastic side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and is the perfect dish to make to bring you luck on New Years Day.

Collard Greens

2 Large Bunches of Collard Greens
2 Smoked Turkey Legs
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Smoked Sea Salt (or regular Sea/Kosher Salt), or to taste
1/2 tsp Pepper, or to taste
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 qt Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 qt Water ( Enough to cover the turkey)
5-6 Garlic Cloves
1 Onion
2 Tbsp Butter


1.  In a large stock pot, add the turkey legs, water, chicken stock and seasonings and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow it to simmer uncovered.

2.  Meanwhile, slice the onions and sauté in a separate skillet for ten minutes or until soft.  Add in the garlic cloves whole and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.  When the onions and garlic are done add them to the stock pot.

3.  Let the stock cook for about 3 hours.  Taste every hour or so and adjust seasonings as needed.  The stock will be a little sweet/tangy.  This will balance out the natural bitterness of the collards.  You may also need to add water as you go to keep the turkey legs submerged in broth.

4.  Separate the leaves from the stems of the collards, tear or cut them into bite size pieces and wash thoroughly.  I like to fill a clean sink with water and toss the collards in the sink as I tear them from the stems.  They can soak a bit in the water and you can more easily clean them if they are fully submerged.

5.  Once the stock is done to your liking, pour it through a strainer into a large Slow Cooker.  The strainer should mostly be turkey at this point as the garlic and onion will have dissolved.  Separate the good meat from the bones and gristle and add the meat to the slow cooker.  Discard the bones and gristle.

6.  Turn the Slow Cooker to low heat and add the collards to the pot.  They may not all fit in at first.  Just let them cook down for a half hour or so and add more collards until they are all in the pot.

7.  You can eat the collards as soon as 3 hours, however I think the longer you can leave them in the pot the better.  In a jam I'll serve my collards after 6-8 hours, if I have time and have prepared ahead of time I'll cook them overnight.

8.  Serve directly from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.  You can also save the broth once you eat the greens.  It makes a great soup that is full of iron, vitamin K and vitamin C.  You can eat it on its own or just dip your cornbread in it.

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