Then there is the texture to contend with. Some might go so far as to call them downright tough. This means that they have to be tenderized during the cooking process. This usually means a long, slow boiling. The ideal texture is firm, yet tender. I like to say that they offer up some resistance when you bite them.
I don’t know why I never thought of using smoked turkey, as I much prefer the taste of turkey to that of ham. I imagine that this is largely a regional custom and preference. Greens were always a prominent feature of our holiday dinner tables, and I cannot imagine any type of celebration without this simple, homey comfort food being present.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large smoked turkey leg (fully cooked)
32 oz. collard greens, thoroughly washed and cut into strips.
Salt & pepper
In a large, deep skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook until tender and translucent. Stir in garlic, cooking until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, red pepper flakes and smoked turkey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Remove turkey leg and allow it to cool until it can be handled safely. Remove meat from bone and cut into bite-size pieces. Return the meat and skin back to the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add collard greens to the pot, pushing them down into the broth, if needed. When the greens begin to wilt down, cover and simmer for up to 60 minutes, until your desired texture is reached, stirring occasionally.
Plate the greens, season with salt and pepper and pour on a few drops of hot sauce, if desired. Serve hot.
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Quick Tip: Cutting the thicker stem pieces from your green leaves before cutting them into strips, or chopping them, will yield a better end result. It takes these stem pieces longer to cook, and often they are woody and inedible, in any case.
Recipe and image courtesy of Monique at Divas Can Cook