Smoked Turkey and Collard Greens


Collard Greens and Smoked Turkey

One of the great advantages of cooking for one is you can eat whatever you want. The methods and meals are easy to prepare that Dolores and I could have each had our own coffeepot and cooked whatever we wanted. Dolores would have eaten steak (grilled) or Italian (stove top) everyday of her life particularly because there is such a rich variety of Italian foods. The only greens that Dolores would eat are cabbage, lettuce and fresh spring spinach, the latter two preferably uncooked and she certainly would never have eaten the neck of any animal if avoidable.

Regular readers know that I just love my old fashioned poor people food like ham hocks. Although at $5.99 a pound for ham hocks, it’s hardly poor people food after you discard the fat and bones and even worse if you eliminate the skin which I admit I still eat. I figure my ham hocks cost more than a Porterhouse steak for Dolores when you calculate it on a pound of actual meat basis. Regardless, when I fabricated the French name “Dinde Fumée au Vert”, it got me thinking about smoked turkey and collard greens and I got a craving for them.

Cutting The Bag in Half

Finding a recipe is easy, scaling it down to cooking for one is the hard part, Most of the recipes I found have olive oil, garlic, chicken stock or broth, red pepper, collard greens and believe it or not salt. Well I was on a mission, so I checked on the collard greens and couldn’t find fresh but did find a one pound package of frozen collard greens. Now no one needs to eat a pound of greens at one setting but fortunately this package was reasonably fresh and I could separate the frozen greens in haves without defrosting and cut along the fold.

I would have preferred smoked turkey legs or wings, but all they had was a 2 pound package of smoked turkey necks which I divided into thirds right away and froze the other two portions. That meant including bones and meat, I was using about 11 ounces but probably more than half was bone.

As with most of my meals for one, this is a one-pot meal because I hate to clean pots.


2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Cloves minced garlic

1 thin slice fresh hot pepper

1 can chicken 14.5 oz .broth

8-12 oz smoked Turkey Parts

1 can water

8 oz frozen collard greens

I really don’t know why I chose my fondue pot over the coffeepot but I am glad I did. I put the olive oil, garlic and pepper and simmered for about 15 minutes, and from experience, that could easily be done in a coffee pot. The next step was to put the broth and smoked turkey necks in the pot and simmer for half an hour.

Cooking the Turkey Necks

At. this point I found out that the turkey necks are very tough and stringy. I added another can of water and let it simmer at a low boil for an hour while I left to have a glass of wine. I am glad I used the fondue pot as I was getting a late start on dinner and in the coffeepot, you cannot add too much liquid as it dilutes the flavor and there is no way to reduce it. In the fondue pot the reduction of liquid which intensifies flavors occurs naturally.

When I returned from my glass of wine an hour later, the broth was flavorful, the turkey was tender and I added the frozen collard greens and followed the package directions. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes more.

It was good and I ate the whole pot so I’m really glad I didn’t cook the pound of greens and the two pounds of smoked necks because I am sure I would have eaten all that.


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2 Responses to “Smoked Turkey and Collard Greens”

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