Smoked Turkey Neck Collard Greens

published Jun 17, 2023
summer
Smoked Turkey Neck Collard Greens Recipe

Smoked turkey neck adds an extra layer of flavor to this comforting collard greens recipe.

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour 30 minutes

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overhead closeup shot of collard greens with smoked turkey and cornbread in a white bowl placed on a light wood surface
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

As a kid, collard greens were a staple side dish in my household. Whether my mom or grandmother were cooking them for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or we were just enjoying them as part of Sunday night’s dinner, the leafy green is one of my favorite nostalgic foods that I still enjoy today. They hold a special place in my heart, and there are plenty of other people who I’m sure would say the same.

For the Black culture, collard greens are one of the most important side dishes that we have. It represents good fortune in the Black community. Collard greens are a common dish seen during Juneteenth celebrations (red, green, and gold foods are eaten at Juneteenth gatherings).

While many folklores make mention of the vegetable representing financial prosperity (which is why they are commonly eaten on New Year’s), according to the Richland Library, collard greens — also known as tree cabbage — were one of the few vegetables allowed to be grown by enslaved Blacks. After the emancipation in the late 1800s, the dish then became known as a comfort food, leading it to now be noted as one of the most traditional foods in the culture. 

For those from the South, cooking collard greens with smoked turkey neck adds an extra layer of flavor. While they can be made in many different ways, this recipe delivers the closest variation to what my grandmother made when I was a kid. And, for me, any chance I get to represent her is a reason to celebrate. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Tips for Making Smoked Turkey Neck Collard Greens

  • Be flexible with the smoked turkey neck. If you can only find smoked turkey neck that’s sliced into pieces, instead of a whole piece, that’s fine to use. You can also use smoked turkey wings or legs. 
  • If you can’t grab the seasoning blend, make your own. While I call for Kinder’s Garlic, Salt, and Pepper Blend, feel free to make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of garlic powder with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Smoked Turkey Neck Collard Greens Recipe

Smoked turkey neck adds an extra layer of flavor to this comforting collard greens recipe.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds

    collard greens (about 4 bunches)

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1

    (12 to 16-ounce) smoked turkey neck

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons

    Kinder’s Garlic, Salt, and Pepper Blend, or 1 tablespoon garlic powder plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Trim, coarsely chop, and wash 2 1/2 pounds collard greens. Drain the greens but do not dry.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 smoked turkey neck and cook, flipping occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out 2 tablespoons Kinder’s Garlic, Salt, and Pepper Blend, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons onion powder, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into the same small bowl.

  4. Add the garlic powder mixture and 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Add the collard greens a few handfuls at a time, waiting until each batch is wilted before adding the next. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water 1/4 cup at a time if the pot is looking dry, until the greens are tender, about 1 hour. If desired, cut the meat off the bones and stir back into the greens.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.