When Mommy was growing up, collard greens were usually made for special occasions—like big Sunday dinners when company was coming over, or on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, when black folks ate them for good luck with their money for the coming year. Mommy thinks people didn’t make them a lot because you had to find fresh collards in the grocery store, and then soak them in the sink to get the grit (that’s southern for “dirt”) off the leaves, roll them, cut them into thin strips, then soak them some more to make sure they were absolutely, totally, positively clean. That was hard work—who wanted to do all of that for a meal on a Thursday night?! These days, though, collard greens come in bags, already clean and cut; you just pour them into a pot and a few hours later—voila!—you have a delicious, steaming, heaping pot full of one of the most delicious veggies ever. Now, our mommy makes them all the time, no matter the day—and we enjoy them, too. We especially love them with fried chicken. But they taste best when Mommy puts a few spoonfuls in a bowl with pieces of turkey meat, right out of the pot. They're just not right without hot sauce, so make sure you have a bottle on hand to put out with a great big ol’ heapin’ serving of these greens. Simply dee-vine.
What You’ll Need:
1 bag of collard greens
2 smoked turkey legs
1 small can of chicken stock
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt
1. In a large pot, cover turkey legs with water and boil at least 40 minutes, until meat gets a bit tender. If the water boils down, add more.
2. After 40 minutes, add half of the bag of greens to the pot.
3. Add half of each of the seasoning to the top of the greens in the pot.
4. Layer the second half of the bag into the pot, and put in the rest of the seasonings.
5. Add chicken stock.
6. Cover and let simmer on medium until greens are tender; taste to adjust seasonings. The greens should be ready in about 2 ½ hours.
This recipe is from the MyBrownBaby series, "Home Made Love: From The Chiles Girls' Kitchen To Yours," the cookbook in which Mari and Lila share special memories behind the beloved dishes they create in our house.
This Home Made Love series is sponsored by The Young Chef's Academy of Sandy Springs, GA, a cooking school for children. Learning food preparation skills is the main ingredient at YCA, and each class adds a heap of kitchen safety, a scoop of etiquette, a handful of table setting, a pinch of menu planning, and laughter to taste. To find out about classes, summer camps, and more at The Young Chef's Academy of Sandy Springs, click HERE.