Although pictured here with bacon pieces I used smoked turkey.  Remember, I grew up in the South and collard greens were a staple dish on our table every Sunday and for the rest of the week until they were gone (which usually was only the next day)!   My mother seasoned them with pork neck bones, fatback or another part of the pig and they were delicious!  I loved them!  I still do except now with the awareness of health and wellness information at my fingertips I have vowed, not to abandon my traditional foods which bring back memories of family gatherings and cousins and friends sitting around the table or at a picnic bench in the park, but to modify the recipes so that I maximize the natural vitamins and nutrients the foods contain.  I don’t want anyone telling me that I can’t have this or that I can’t have that so in order to avoid that most serious conversation with my physician I will do my part and make the traditional foods I’m used a little healthier (there, I said it).  In this dish there is no loss of flavor, just a slighter different one.  The intake of vitamins and nutrients is significantly higher and the cooking time in my recipe is shorter.  Sounds like a win, win, win situation!  Try it out and let me know what you think.


2 large bunches of collard greens, stems removed

3 quarts of water

2 cups chicken broth

1¼ – 1½ lbs. smoked turkey necks or legs

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ cup canola oil

1 tablespoon EVOO

Optional:  1 teaspoon cider vinegar, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large Dutch oven (or other heavy bottom pot) add the water, turkey, salt, sugar, ground pepper, paprika and oil.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to medium heat and allow turkey to cook for 40 minutes creating “pot liquor.”
  2. Thoroughly wash/rinse the collard greens. Chop greens into small pieces.
  3. After 35 minutes check the turkey and pot liquor. Liquor should have reduced by about ¼ and the turkey should be soft but still on the bone.  Add the chicken stock (or vegetable stock) and replace the lid and cook for another 5 minutes to blend.
  4. Add the greens to the pot and sprinkle with a little more sugar, salt and olive oil drizzle. Stir and cover.  Cook for another 30 -35 minutes or until greens are tender and tasty.  The turkey should be falling off the bones.  If not, cook a little longer until desired tenderness.
  5. Note: Serve with cornbread.
  6. Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey
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