The lexicon of African-American foodways of the South was created, according to food historian Tracy N. Poe, through the combining of the foodstuffs and methods of African and Anglo-American cuisines. Collard greens boiled with cured meat products, whether turkey wings and necks or pork feet and hocks, is a direct offspring of that merging. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook by Sylvia Woods (William Morrow, 1999).
- 2 smoked turkey wings (about 2 1⁄2 lbs.)
- 3 lb. collard greens (about 3 bunches), stemmed and chopped into 1" pieces
- 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- White distilled vinegar
- Corn bread
- Put turkey wings and 6 cups water into a large tall pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add collard greens, oil, sugar, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Return to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours.
- Remove turkey wings from pot, pull meat and skin from bones, and chop into small pieces (discard bones). Return meat and skin to the pot of collard greens and season with salt, pepper, vinegar, and Tabasco to taste. Scoop collard greens and their liquid into bowls and serve with corn bread on the side to soak up the “pot likker”, if you like.