Collard Greens

close-up photo of L. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealCollard greens have a long history in the African-American community.  No self-respecting soul food restaurant would dare omit them from the menu!  They were always on our dinner table on holidays when I was a kid, and even now that my siblings and I have children and grandchildren of our own, we still look forward to them every Thanksgiving.  My recipe is slightly different from my mother’s but the basic elements are still there and I don’t wait for holidays; I make collard greens whenever I crave them. — L. Weal

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch (1 ½ – 2 pounds) collard greens
4 slices bacon
4 cups chicken stock
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
kosher salt

TOOLS
colander
cutting board
chef’s knife
large (5-quart) pot, with lid
kitchen tongs
cooking spoon

METHOD
1. Place collard greens in colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well.
2. Rough chop collards into bite-sized pieces.
3. Fry bacon in pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and chop into bite-sized pieces.
4. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from pot.
5. Add chopped bacon, chopped greens, chicken stock, and red pepper flakes to pot.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.

NOTES & TIPS
• As a variation, substitute chopped smoked ham or chopped smoked turkey for the chopped bacon.
• No red pepper flakes? Use a dash of hot sauce.

READY IN
1 hour, 45 minutes

YIELD
6 servings

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