December 21, 2019 | Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by Patricia Valbrun
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 southern collard greens 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.
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 to make Southern Collard Greens?
COLLARDS STEMS – 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.
TURKEY LEGS – 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.
LIQUID – 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.
Once the turkey meat gets tender remove it and add your collard greens and additional chicken stock.
COOK – After, 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.
SEASON – In between the hours, season the collards one more time with garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, half large maggie cube, chopped onions, chicken broth, seasoning salt, sugar.
Finally, add your chopped turkey legs and covered until your desires tenderness on medium heat with the lid cracked open.
What is Pot Liquor or Pot Likker?
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.
Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey
You can also replace the smoked turkey in this recipe 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, for non meat eaters you can opt out the meat for a better vegan option or just leave it out.
Why add Vinger to Collard Greens?
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.
Looking for another Southern recipe? Here are a few main dish options to get you started:
Southern Collard Greens
- 2 Smoked Turkey Legs
- 5 Collards Greens
- 32 oz Chicken Broth
- 2 Yellow onion
- 3 Garlic cloves whole
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- 2 cubes Chicken boullion
- 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Red pepper fales
- 2 1/4 cup Sugar
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Tonys seasoning
- 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.