Collard greens have a long history in the African-American community. No self-respecting soul food restaurant owner 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 always wait for holidays; I make collard greens whenever I crave them, which is fairly often — L. Weal
1 large bunch (about 2 pounds) collard greens
4 slices bacon
4 cups chicken stock
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
large (5-quart) pot, with lid
1. Place collard greens in colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water to remove grit. Drain well.
2. Rough chop collards into bite-sized pieces.
3. Fry bacon in pot over medium heat until very crisp. Remove bacon and dice into small pieces.
4. Discard all but about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease from pot.
5. Add chopped greens, chicken stock, and red pepper flakes to pot.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 90 minutes to 2 hours, stirring occasionally until tender. Season with salt and more red pepper flakes to taste.
7. Sprinkle with diced bacon bits and serve.
NOTES & TIPS
• Chopped smoked ham or smoked turkey can substitute for the chopped bacon.
• A few dashes of hot sauce can substitute for red pepper flakes.
2 hours, 30 minutes