Collards are a Southern dish I’ve come to appreciate and eat more of as I get older. Like so many other Southern dishes, collards can vary depending on sub regions within the larger South. I’ve never been a fan of collards that are swimming in pot liquor, so I’ve been cooking mine a particular way that suits my palate. My husband recently dished me out a kitchen twist when it comes to cooking; he declared he would stop eating pork. My mind immediately went to all the dishes that really need pork fat to make the dish what it should be. Collards are the first of those pork dependent dishes I began to tackle, and I solved the issue with duck bacon. Cooked low and slow until crispy, duck bacon has a very similar taste to pork bacon and it renders around the same amount of fat.
Serves 2 as a side dish
- 2 bunches of collards preferably organic.
- 3 slices of duck bacon. I use D’Artagnan brand.
- ¾ to 1 cup poultry stock or poultry bone broth. For this recipe I used turkey bone broth.
- ¼ teaspoon of Konriko Jalapeño, Konriko Creole, your favorite Cajun spice mix, or plain salt. If using plain salt use black pepper to taste.
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice or champagne vinegar.
- Wash and dry your collards and remove stems.
- Chiffonade your collards and set aside.
- Place 3 pieces of duck bacon in a skillet over low heat and cook until both sides are crispy. Don’t worry about your pan browning too much, you’ll deglaze it with broth. Place crispy bacon on a paper towel to dry. Once cooled chop bacon into bits to be added later. I used a 10-inch stainless pan with lid.
- Add collards to pan immediately after removing bacon with ¼ cup broth and ¼ teaspoon Konriko, Cajun spice, or salt. This will deglaze the pan. Combine ingredients and place lid on pan keeping your pan on low heat.
- About every 3-4 minutes stir collards and continue adding broth a little at a time until collards are tender – about 20-30 minutes. You want your collards to be wet but not swimming in liquid so you may have broth left over from your initial 1 cup.
- Combine chopped bacon and ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or vinegar to collards. The acid adds a bit of balance. Add black pepper to suit your taste if using plain salt instead of Konriko or Cajun spice. Serve warm.