Monday, July 28, 2014

Greens Simmered in Chicken Broth With Bacon and Scapes

I fell in love with this variation of 'collard greens' while vacationing in Charleston and dining at the famous Magnolia restaurant.  Of course, you need not worry about finding 'collard greens' as any large leafy 'green' or kale variety will work nicely here.

I love to use the simmered greens as a bed for sautéed wild (chanterelle) mushrooms, a chicken breast or a fish fillet.  They're also wonderful tossed into a pot of pinto beans cooked on ham hocks. My favorite way to eat these simmered greens, however, is right out of skillet!

1 bunch kale, collard greens or other southern green, washed
10 -12 garlic tops (scapes) minced
1 -2 slices thick, good quality bacon or pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 small can chicken broth
kosher salt

In large skillet, saute bacon.  Trim the veins from the center of each kale leaf and roughly chop. When skillet is nicely coated with bacon grease, add the chopped greens and scapes.  Sautee, tossing for a few minutes so the bacon fat evenly coates the greens (they will begin to wilt).  Finally, add just enough chicken broth to simmer the wilted greens.  Cover with lid and reduce heat to simmer.

Simmer on very low heat, checking every 10 - 15 minutes to ensure the chicken broth doesn't fully evaporate.  If needed, add more broth (don't let them become too dry).  Stir frequently.  The longer the greens simmer, the more tender and flavorful they become.  After 45 - 60 minutes, remove from heat, drain excess broth (there shouldn't be very much left in skillet).


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