These southern collard greens are simmered in rich and flavorful chicken broth with smoked turkey wings. They’re perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the week.
Collard greens share a special place in my heart. As long as I have some mac and cheese and candied yams and fried chicken, I’m a happy woman! Since the holidays are near, I figured I’d share this southern collard green recipe with you plus one of my readers requested it. I learned how to make this dish when I was very young. I was taught that low and slow is the best way to develop the flavors in. Simmering the greens will result in rich and robust flavor.
I always get great feedback from anyone who tries my southern collard greens. Some people prefer to cook theirs with ham hocks but I only use smoked turkey wings. Smoked turkey wings are not only delicious, but they are also lower in fat than pork. Feel free to add ham hocks if you prefer them over smoked turkey wings. The crushed red peppers and jalapeños gives this dish some kick but you can omit the crushed red peppers if you like. Don’t omit the added healthy vegetables because the look pretty amazing in the finished dish.
How to make southern collard greens:
Southern collard greens may look difficult to make but rest assured this recipe will make you look like you’ve been making them your whole life. Collard greens are made with greens of course, smoked turkey, onions and garlic, vinegar, crushed red chili peppers, green peppers, jalapenos (optional) chicken base, salt pepper and a bit of sugar. The sugar helps to balance out the flavors but you can omit it if you don’t need it.
Clean your collard greens to remove the dirt and grit. To do this, fill up a sink with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the sink of water. Add the greens to the water. Swoosh them around so that the sand and dirt can settle to the bottom of the sink. Swoosh the greens once again. Drain the water from the sink. Rinse each leaf under cold water thoroughly.
Get rid of any brown or yellow collard green leaves. Take one leaf. Fold it lengthwise (in half) using a knife, slice off each side of the stem. Alternatively, fold the leave in half and then carefully tear the leaves off each side of the leaf. Discard the stems or store them in the freezer to use later in soups or stir-frys.
Stack the collard greens in the same direction on top of the cutting board. Fold the leaves up. Then cut them up into two-inch squares a bunch at a time.
Cooking the greens is usually the last step. Cook the smoked turkey wings first. To a large pot or dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the green peppers, sweet red bell peppers, jalapeño, and onions. Saute until soft. Add the minced garlic and saute for one minute.
Add the broth to the Dutch oven then add the crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cajun seasoning. Mix well. Add the smoked turkey wings. Simmer for an hour. If you want to use the Better than Bouillon chicken base please DO NOT ADD THE ENTIRE JAR! Make sure to read the instruction on the jar FIRST.
Add the collard greens on top of the smoked turkey wings. Add the vinegar and sugar. Push the greens down and gently stir. The greens will seem like they won’t fit but don’t worry, they will wilt and reduce in size greatly as it hits the water. Once the greens are wilted and completely in the pot or dutch oven Cover and simmer for 1.5 -2 hours or until very tender and dark green and the meat has fallen off the smoked turkey wings.
Remove the bones from the pot. Add salt and pepper and sugar to taste. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with your choice of sides like baked sweet potato, candied yams, cornbread, cranberry sauce, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing or mac and cheese.
FYI…you’ll notice some leftover liquid in the pot. It’s called potlikker or pot liquor. Serve the potlikker individually in small bowls. Some people like to sop their cornbread up with the potlikker. I’m one of those peoples. Potlikker also makes tasty soup or gravy. So don’t get rid of it :). I hope you can give this collard greens recipe a try!
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Southern Collard Greens Recipe simmered with smoked turkey wings, green and red peppers, onions, garlic, white vinegar, red pepper flakes make this dish so tasty. No one will complain about not having enough meat in this dish. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the week.
- 2 cups onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper diced
- 1 tbsp jalapeno pepper diced
- 3 bunches collard greens
- 2 lbs whole smoked turkey wings
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning (optional)
- 2-3 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 cups chicken broth I used Better Than Bouillon
- 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- salt for taste
- pepper for taste
To a large pot or dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the green peppers, sweet red bell peppers, jalapeño, and onions. Saute until soft. Add the minced garlic and saute for one minute.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add the smoked turkey wings, crushed red peppers, the sauteed vegetables and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
Next, add the collard greens, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine. If the greens seem like too much. Keep stirring until they have wilted down. They should be able to fit once they have wilted down. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat has fallen completely off the bone. Once done. Serve immediately.