These Southern Collard Greens are braised in a savory meat flavored and perfectly spiced pot liquor resulting in an amazing tender silky texture.
Collard Greens are a type of leafy green vegetable that are common in Southern cuisine. The plant has dark green leaves and tough stems, and is included in the same family as kale, turnip greens and mustard greens.
COLLARD GREENS PREPARTION
CLEAN COLLARDS – The most crucial step in making a soul food collard greens recipe is getting those greens super clean. Greens can be very sandy so fill up your sink with water and clean the collards until you no longer see the grit at the bottom of your sink. I usually clean my collards twice, before I cut them and after.
REMOVE STEMS– This is a personal choice for most people. I believe in removing the stems and leaving mostly just greens to cook. However, you can save the stems and make a greens juice with green apple, carrots, spinach and lemons.
HOW DO YOU COOK FRESH COLLARD GREENS?
1. Start by pulling and tearing greens away from stems. Take a hand full of greens, roll them up and cut the rolls horizontally into small pieces. We personally remove the stems but this is a personal decision.
2. Next, Wash the turkey leg and scorch each piece, this will help the inside to cook. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sear the turkey legs to help release the juices from the turkey.
3. Next, Add the water, and rest of the seasonings. Cook for an hour and a half on medium heat, this is the start of our pot liquor.
4. Once the turkey meat gets tender remove it and add your collard greens and additional chicken stock.
5. After that, Add along the rest of the ingredients to the pot and cook while covered for at least 2 hours or until completely tender. Most water should have evaporated by this point just having enough to barely cover the greens.
- After one hour, season the collards one more time. Garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and cook for another hour.
- Finally, add chopped turkey, half large maggie cube, chopped onions, chicken broth, seasoning salt, sugar and cook for another hour or until your desired tenderness on medium heat covered with the lid cracked open.
POT LIKKER (OR POT LIQUOR) WHAT IS IT? HOW TO MAKE IT
These greens are simmered away in a rich broth that develops called Pot Liquor. In what the internet term( Pot Likker) is the broth that becomes infused with the flavors in this recipe like fresh onions, garlic, and that smoky, salty turkey for non-pork eaters like myself or ham hock.
Nothing else tastes quite like the highly concentrated, full flavored Pot Liquor. I swear, you could drink it by the glass full. Lots of people use this pot liquor to flavor other recipes or even make soups.
COLLARD GREENS WITH SMOKED TURKEY
You can also replace the smoked turkey in this recipe with with ham hock easily. It is really your choice when making this recipe your own. In other words, Follow the same steps in the recipe and just replace the meat with smoked turkey instead. Also, make sure this is a meaty selection since it will flavor your entire batch of greens.
WHY ADD VINEGAR TO A COLLARD GREENS RECIPE?
The apple cider vinegar gives the dish a nice “tang,” and it helps to cut the bitterness of the greens. Also, balances out the salty, savory flavors in the recipe.
With the addition of apple cider vinegar along with red pepper flakes to my soul food collard greens recipe, these spicy collard greens really have some kick! There’s no lack of flavor here.
This easy collard greens recipe pairs nicely with just about any Southern feast! Here are a few main dish options to get you started:
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Southern Candied Yams
- Homemade Yeast Rolls
- Southern Fried Catfish
- Burbon Glaze Meatloaf
- 2 smoked turkey legs
- 5 bundles collards
- 2 small Yellow onion
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large Chicken boullion
- Garlic powder
- onion powder
- Tonys seasoning
- 2 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper fales
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 32 oz Chicken broth
- Hot sauce
- First, Clean the collard greens, roll them and cut and clean one more time. I also showed you how I did it in the video so if you like just jump to video.
- Next, Scorch the turkey legs, this will help the inside to cook. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sear the turkey legs to help release the juices from the turkey. Add the water, onions, garlic cloves, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and Maggie cube. Cook for an hour and a half on medium heat, this is the start of our pot likker.
- Once the meat starts falling off the bones about an hour and half later remove the meat and add in your collard greens. Don’t worry about the pot being overcrowded and don’t add the seasoning until all the leaves fit in the pot. If the pot is over crowed allow the collards it to cook down covered for about 10 minutes.
- Add, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken stock, sugar, all-purpose seasoning, minced garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes and vinegar. Cook for 2 hours but check on the seasoning half way through, so in about an hour.
- While the collards are cooking, go ahead and chop up the turkey to your liking. I like to shred mines in a medium size and not too thin. I want to eat collards not turkey soup haha.
- After one hour, season the collards one more time. Add, chicken broth, Garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and cook for another hour.
- Finally, add chopped turkey, half large maggie cube, chopped onions, chicken broth, seasoning salt, sugar and cook for another hour or until your desired tenderness on medium heat and enjoy!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can find more sides dish recipes here.