Friday, May 29, 2009

Home Made Love: Screamin' Mean Collard Greens

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

To Cook:

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.

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  1. I guess if the kiddies can make collard greens, surely a 35-year-old should attempt to make collard greens as well...ha,ha! That's great!

  2. Girl!!

    I have been cravin' me some collard greens!! They look sooooo good! Just wanna get my fork and eat them right through the screen...LOL! Man, I can smell 'em and everything. But that's awite cause I just sent my kids to the grocery store with a nice little list of thangs'! Mama gonna have some collard greens!....LOL!

  3. I recently went to a gathering with my family and learned at that point that my son LOOOOVES collard greens. I couldn't believe how he practically cleaned his plate of greens off. I was in shock. I guess now I need to add this on my list of things to learn. How great of you to share this recipe. Like Jackie H. said, if the kiddies can make greens then hey so can I.


  4. My mother will still only make collard greens twice a year, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember when she would make them, I could eat them just by themselves with a slice of homemade cornbread. Me, on the other hand, I make them at least three to four times a month. Since they are not sold already cut and cleaned it makes my job, and Sunday dinners, a whole lot easier on me.

    I have never made this exact recipe, so I am bookmarking it so I can try it the next time I have a craving for collard greens.

  5. This recipe makes me feel so nostalgic, my mommy always did this stuff once per week


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