A Southern tradition that is addictive! Crystal Bridges fabulous restaurant, Eleven, occasionally serves collard greens and their method was our inspiration. We use bacon, Maple balsamic and a dab of brown sugar and the results are awesome, sticky, and delicious.
- ½ pound collard greens (see recipe for preparing)
- 3 sliced smoked bacon, cut in half
- 1 large white or red onion, chopped.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced.
- ½ teaspoon Ancho or New Mexican Chili powder
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup Fresh Harvest Maple Balsamic
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
Wash the collard greens thoroughly. If purchasing whole leaves, remove the stem that runs down the center by gently ripping the leaves down each side of the stem. Stack the half leaves in a pile. The tender young heart leaves don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6-8 leaves on top of one another and roll them up. Then slice into ½ inch strips. Set the cut greens aside for a bit.
Using a medium/large non-stick skillet or pot fry the bacon on medium heat until just crispy. Take bacon out, let cool and crumble. Set aside.
Leave bacon drippings in pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic, cook 3-4 minutes until the onions are very slightly translucent. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add back the crumbled bacon. Stir frequently and cook 2-3 more minutes.
Pour in chicken broth and balsamic. Stir and add the collard greens. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the broth and balsamic have reduced and the greens are tender. Stir frequently. This final slow cooking should reduce the broth to a thicker consistency.
You can speed up the process by cooking on medium heat and stirring very frequently until the broth/balsamic have reduced.
The desired end result is a sticky, moist dish with just a little bit of liquid, so adjust cooking accordingly to achieve that type of reduction.