Collards and Black Eyed Peas Unite
I knew that my African American family were rolling their eyes as I made this dish. I can promise you, you’ll never look at collards and black eyed peas the same after tasting this nutritious and delicious dish. You’ll see that Collards and Black Eyed Peas unite perfectly. Say a prayer and let the spirit guide you, as you cook this gorgeous fusion of collards and black eyed peas. It’s a veritable marriage of two great soul foods in one pot.
I picked these beautiful collards at Smith Family Farm in Brentwood and was inspired to create a new recipe that combined two of my favorite dishes. Black Eyed Peas with tomatoes and celery a la Wishbone restaurant in Chicago and good old fashion Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey. I remember enjoying simple greens with legumes in many Italian Dishes and despite the major evil eye looking down on me as I scratched the needle across the record of traditional soul food, I pursued my vision to it’s questionable end.
Wash the whole collards in luke warm water. Remove the tough center ribs and stack the halves on a cutting board. Slice 1-2″ slices of the leaves and set aside. Take six garlic cloves and cut the hard stems off. Place the cloves flat side down on a cutting board and using a large chefs knife, with your palm, press the wide flat of the blade down against each clove crushing them so that the paper is easily removed. Once all paper is removed, chop the garlic coarsely and set aside. Remove the bone from the Smoked Turkey Thigh and chop the meat into 1/2″ cubes. Core and slice two large sweet ripe tomatoes, and roughly chop into large chunks and set aside. Open one 15 oz can of black eyed peas into a mesh basket or colander, rinse and set aside. One teaspoon to one tablespoon of crushed chili flakes to taste.
In a 10 quart pan, combine 6 Cups of Chicken Stock, Chopped Garlic and Smoked Turkey and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the collards and pepper flakes and stir until combined. Cook on Medium High for 15 Minutes (stirring occasionally) with the lid on or until the collards are nearly cooked and olive green. Add the Chopped Tomatoes, Black Eyed Peas and Sea Salt to taste and cook another 3-5 minutes until the green are tender and still green and the peas are hot. My intention in this recipe is to keep the collards as green as possible, cooking thoroughly without them turning brown.
- 2 Bunches or 8 Cups Fresh Collards (Washed, Ribs removed and Cut)
- 6 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 2 Tablespoons or 6 Cloves of Chopped Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of Crushed Chili Flakes to taste
- 1 Smoked Turkey Thigh (Deboned and Chopped into 1/4" Cubes)
- 1 15 Oz. Can of Rinsed Black Eyed Peas
- 2 Large Tomatoes (Cored and Chopped)
- 1 Teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt to taste
- In a large 10 Quart pan, combine the chopped smoked Turkey Thigh, Chopped Garlic and 6 Cups of Chicken Stock and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped Collard Greens and cook on medium high for 15 minutes.
- Collards should be olive green and nearly cooked.
- Add the Sea Salt, Chili Flakes, Chopped Tomatoes and Black Eyed Peas and stir to combine.
- Cook another 3-5 Minutes until the peas are hot.
- While I knew that my African American family was rolling in their eyes as I made this dish, I can tell you, you'll never look at collards and black eyed peas the same after tasting this nutritious and delicious dish. Say a prayer and let the spirit guide you, as you cook this gorgeous fusion of collard and black eyed peas. It's a veritable marriage of two great soul foods in one pot.