Soul food is a special type of cuisine which is used to describe the mixed cuisine of African-Americans. This cuisine evolved as a result of mixing of American and African culture, when Africans were brought-in as slaves.
The Africans shared many foods indigenous to them with the Americans; while, the Americans shared South American foods with the Africans and as a result, this cuisine gradually developed.
Soul food cuisine has some of the patented dishes like collard green with meat. Collard green is a green-leafy vegetable which is characterized by very large leaves. It is usually cooked with smoked bacon, turkey or ham. This is a very healthy recipe and can be served as a staple.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 6
Time required for preparation: 20-25 minutes
Time required for cooking: 5-6 hours
1 stirring spoon
1 large tong
20 lbs. of hickory chips
36 oz. of collard green, stemmed and chopped
2 smoked turkey wings
1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of chili pepper vinegar
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 quart of low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar
3 cups of water, at room temperature
For the Smoked Turkey
1 large turkey, giblets removed
Salt, to taste
Method of Cooking
1. Remove the turkey from the freezer at least 2 days before you plan to cook it and put it in the refrigerator to thaw it. Once you are ready with the turkey, take it out of the refrigerator and remove the giblets from it.Then prepare your smoker by setting it at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, rinse the turkey thoroughly inside-out to remove any impurities and liquids from it. Once done, place the turkey on your working table and then pat-dry it with paper towels. After that, sprinkle generous amounts of salt over the turkey and rub it all over and inside the turkey.
2. Once done, stick the turkey into the smoker and keep it far away from the source of heat. Cook the turkey for 4-4 ½ hours or until the skin turns brown and the meat turns very tender. Once done, remove the turkey from the smoker and then set it aside on a grill to cool it down. Once the turkey cools down, cut out the two legs from it and then carve the rest of the turkey as you like or you can also store the rest of it for later use. Now take the collard greens and put them into a colander.
3. Place the colander in the sink and then rinse the collard greens very nicely until you take out all the dirt and impurities from it. For that, scrub the leaves with your hands and then repeatedly rinse it while rubbing. After that, add a generous pinch of salt to the collard greens as that helps to remove any grits and then continue rinsing them until they are thoroughly cleaned.After that, tear off the leafy part from the middle vein by simply pulling it off with your hands. Next, roll up the leaves and then cut them into thin strips, or you can also simply tear them into small pieces.
4. Next, take the onion and dice it finely. After that, take the cloves of garlic and peel off their skin. Then take the peeled cloves of garlic and mince them. Once done, take a large pot and place it on the stove. Light up the flame and set it on medium. Grease the pot with oil and then let the oil heat up. Once the oil heats up, take the diced onions and the minced garlic and then throw them into the hot oil. Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until they turn soft and aromatic.
5. Once done, pour the chicken stock into the pot and then put the two turkey legs in it. Now cover up the pot with a lid and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes. Once the mixture boils for 5 minutes, turn down the flame to medium low and let the mixture simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the meat starts falling off from the bones. Next, uncover the pot by removing the lid and then add the red pepper flakes, salt and the sugar to the mixture. Give a brief stir to the mixture to incorporate the seasonings and then drop-in the collard green leaves.
6. Press the leaves a little to fit them into the pot and then put the lid on the pot. Maintain the flame on medium and cook the mixture for 45-60 minutes or until the leaves and the meat turn very tender. Once done, season the mixture with a bit more salt if required and then add-in the chili pepper vinegar. Stir the mixture once again and then let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, serve the collard green warm.