Soul food is one of the most popular and recognizable types of cooking in the United States. For centuries, Black Americans have passed on hearty, sumptuous recipes that have marked many a special occasion.
Soul food takes its origins mostly from the collection of states commonly referred to as the Deep South. During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved African people were given meager food rations that were low in quality and nutritional value. With these rations, enslaved people preserved African food traditions and adapted traditional recipes with the resources available. Over time, these recipes and techniques have become the soul food dishes we are familiar with today. This food genre, now associated with comfort and decadence, was born out of struggle and survival. Soul food has a rich and important history that ties Black culture to its African roots, and that history is deeply reflected in the American culinary landscape.
Braised Collard Greens
Yields: 6 servings
4/Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cup Onion, small dice
1/smoked chicken wing (you may substitute the smoked wing for other smoked chicken parts)
4/cups Chicken broth
4/cloves Garlic cloves, minced
3 pound Collard Greens, washed and chopped.
Salt and Course Black Pepper to taste
1. Preheat a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add olive oil.
2. Sauté onions until translucent.
3. Add smoked chicken wing.
4. Cover the wing with broth.
5. Allow to simmer for 3 hours.
6. Remove the wing and allow to cool.
7. Remove the skin and reserve the meat.
8. Add garlic and collard greens
9. Simmer for 1 hours or until tender.
10. Stir in the smoked meat back into the pot.
11. Add salt and course black pepper.
This dish is traditionally prepared with fat back, bacon and or smoked ham hocks. We use smoked chicken or turkey parts to in order to cut back on the cholesterol. Olive oil is used instead of bacon fat again, to cut back on cholesterol without sacrificing the flavor.
Note……..Some of the elders would add a tablespoon of sugar to the pot at the end of the cooking cycle to take the “bitterness” from the taste of the greens. This step is optional.