The Best Collards of My Life! (Or Cabbage Or Kale)

by projectbuddy


Although this blog is intended to be about renovating my old house, part of what makes a house a home is the kitchen and food smells that originate there. With the holiday seasons coming up, I thought that I would share one of my favorite kitchen garden recipes. I’ve thoroughly tested this recipe with collards, cabbage, and kale from my own garden. I’m not particularly skilled with writing recipes, so please bear with me! If there’s any “secret” to this recipe, it’s using chicken broth instead of water (which doesn’t add any flavor).

  • 1 bunch of collards
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) chicken broth (may not need the entire carton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 chunk of leftover country ham (or 1 tablespoon of bacon grease)

Prepare collards by washing and cutting off the tough center vein of each leaf. You won’t need to do this on the smaller, more tender leaves. Stack them up and cut them into pieces that are about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch.

In a 5 quart Dutch oven pour in about half of the chicken broth add salt, pepper, and ham. Bring to a boil, and add the collards. With kitchen tongs, help the collards get used to being in the pot…just lift the from the bottom and put them on the top, until they are all wet and beginning to wilt. You may need to add more chicken broth, but just enough to just keep them covered.

Move to the back burner, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 2 hour, until done. If you’ve used a chunk of leftover ham, you’ll have a great meal, just add some freshly baked cornbread!

This recipe uses just the ingredients shown in the photograph. The items in the wicker basket are optional. In the wire basket (which I use for harvesting from the garden and rinsing) are collards, kale, and cabbage. You can prepare this recipe with just one of these or a combination of all three…whatever you have available. Cabbage and kale together make an incredibly good combination!

Optional ingredient: pressed garlic and finely chopped onion can be added with the collards, or they can be sautéed in a small amount of olive oil (or bacon grease if you are using that instead of ham) before adding the chicken broth. Some people like to put vinegar or hot sauce on their collards, but not me!