Braised greens are about as Southern as it gets. In the summer I like to add a heap of diced garden tomatoes for another level of flavor, but it's just as good without. Feel free to use any mix of greens you can get your hands on - collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard would all work well. Bonus points if you use the leftover sweet potato greens from the sweet potato casserole. That's what Southern cooking is all about!
Recipe courtesy of Nealey Dozier
Spicy Braised Collard Greens
Total:
1 hr 40 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy
Total:
1 hr 40 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, cut into thin strips (lardons)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 4 pounds collard greens, rinsed well but not dried
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Hot pepper vinegar, for serving

Directions

In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. 

While the bacon and onions are cooking, prepare the greens. To remove the thick, woody stems that run down the center of the leaves, hold the base of the collard stem in one hand. Wrap your other hand around the bottom of the stem, directly under the leaf (like you are holding a baseball bat). In one firm motion, quickly slide your hand up the stem, removing the leaf in one swift movement. To chop the leaves, stack a few on top of each other and roll up like a cigar. Slice the roll into 1-inch pieces, rotate, and give another good chop. Continue until all the greens are chopped. 

Increase the heat of the Dutch oven to medium-high. Add a few large handfuls of greens at a time - stirring constantly to allow each batch to wilt for a few moments - until you can fit all of the greens into the pot. Continue to saute the greens for 3 to 5 minutes, until bright green and wilted. Season with a very generous pinch of kosher salt and a few big grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes to the greens and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. 

Add the cooked bacon to the greens and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning (don't be afraid to be generous with the salt). Serve with hot pepper vinegar on the side.

Cook's Note

The collard greens can be made a few hours ahead of time or up to a day in advance, which will really allow the flavors to deepen. Just keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Then reheat over low to medium-low heat until warm.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Pork Spare Ribs Slow Braised In Medicinal Broth: Suong Non Tiem Thuoc Bac

Recipe courtesy of Luke Nguyen

Spicy Collard Greens

Recipe courtesy of Daisy Martinez

Braised Collard Greens with Bacon

Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon

Braised Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Wings

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Jones

Braised Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, and Red Swiss Chard

Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman

Cooking Tips

How to Poach Eggs Perfectly

Watch videos from Cooking Channel shows and chefs. Learn to prepare feature recipes and relive your favorite moments

On TV

Tia Mowry at Home

10:30am | 9:30c

Tia Mowry at Home

11:30am | 10:30c

Tia Mowry at Home

12:30pm | 11:30c

Tia Mowry at Home

1:30pm | 12:30c

Donut Showdown

2:30pm | 1:30c

Donut Showdown

3:30pm | 2:30c

Donut Showdown

4:30pm | 3:30c

Sugar Showdown

5:30pm | 4:30c

Sugar Showdown

6:30pm | 5:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c
9pm | 8c

Cake Hunters

10pm | 9c

Cake Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c
12am | 11c
1am | 12c

Cake Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c