Collard greens are a southern staple and, if made right, are so flavorful. They are perfect served with turkey, ham or fried chicken. The best part is called pot liquor or in the south, it’s actually pronounced and spelled potlikker, I’ll explain more about that in a bit. First I want to show you how easy it is to make slow cooker collard greens that are so full of flavor you won’t need to add anything to them.
Usually, southern collard greens use oil but because we are using a crockpot there is no need for that. Collards are really healthy because they are loaded with vitamin A and K and include phytonutrients that help fight cancer. They are also low in calories and contain no cholesterol.
Cooking these greens with a jalapeno, onion, and smoked turkey necks or legs gives them so much rich flavor and not to worry there is no heat from the jalapeno.I like to eat mine with a little Texas Pete Pepper Sauce and cornbread. This pepper sauce is made with whole green jalapeno peppers and vinegar and is only moderately hot. Recently I visited the Southern Living Test Kitchen, and we ate collards with Cheese Grits and BBQ which was divine!
- 1 cup sweet onion chopped
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 1 jalapeno and cut in half optional
- 1 pound collard greens rinsed tough stems discarded and torn or chopped into medium size pieces
- 2 smoked turkey necks or 1 smoked turkey leg
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- In your crockpot or slow cooker put greens, chopped onion, and jalapenos,
- Add turkey necks or wing and push them down into the greens.
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
- Pour water or chicken stock over greens and cover.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until greens are tender.
- Remove turkey parts and jalapeno and remove greens with a slotted spoon to a serving dish.
- Pour pot liquor or juice into a bowl or cup for drinking or dipping with cornbread.
What is Potlikker?
Now if you have no idea what potlikker is then let me introduce you to what we call southern gold! It’s the steeped juices left over after your remove the greens and is one of the best parts of cooking collards. Potlikker has been revered for years thanks to slaves who were smart enough to save it after cooking greens for their masters. They would serve the collard broth to their families. It was used medicinally for years, as it was thought to cure croup and colic, due to the rich vitamins and minerals in it. There is a famous restaurant here in Atlanta called Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and they serve it to you right after you sit down as a welcome. This juice is full of flavor and so delicious when you dip cornbread in it. You can also drizzle it on your bbq so don’t throw it away and try it to see what you think.