If you think of collard greens as something that needs to be cooked to death for hours and hours, then think again. These collards are ready in a little more than an hour, perfectly tender with just the right amount of bite. The secret is in cutting them into a chiffonade, which means that the leaves are rolled up tight and then cut into thin strips — and don’t strip out the stems as some folks might tell you to do; they add more contrasting texture to the dish that, when combined with the kielbasa, helps to make this a great one-pot meal. Even better, it tastes even more delicious the next day!
¼ cup olive oil
1 pound turkey kielbasa, cut on the bias ½” thick
2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 4 cups)
½ cup fresh garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
5 pounds collard greens, ¼” chiffonade
In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and brown kielbasa on both sides. Add onions and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add smoked paprika and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add vinegar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the collards: Working in batches, roll the leaves like a cigar, cut the roll in half lengthwise, then cut roll into thin strips (¼” chiffonade). DO NOT TAKE THE STEMS OUT! (they add texture to thinly cut greens.) Wash the greens thoroughly.
Add the sliced greens to the pot and mix them well with the pot likker. Simmer until tender and seasoned, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot.
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