Collard’s smooth, thick leaves develop a silky texture after a long simmer, along with an earthy sweetness. Even without turkey, this pot of greens develops complex flavors from sauteed onion and garlic, tangy vinegar and hot sauce.
Strip the leaves off the collard stems and reserve both separately. Rinse the stems thoroughly, then trim the ends and cut the stems into ½-inch slices. Cut the leaves in half lengthwise and then into ½-inch-thick ribbons crosswise. Put the leaves in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swish to remove any grit, then lift out into a colander. Repeat until the water runs clear and the leaves are clean.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sliced collard stems and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and boil, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add turkey and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.
Add the collard leaves a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until it wilts before adding the next. When all the greens have wilted, stir in ½ teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Season the greens to taste with salt and hot sauce. Serve hot from the pot with the juices in the pot. You can shred the meat from the turkey to serve with the greens if you want.
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