Fresh mustard greens are nutritious, tender, flavorful and easy to prepare. Of all the greens available in a market, I prefer mustard greens the most. This recipe is a true Southern recipe; the smoked turkey gives a full flavor and southern flair. The recipe comes from my brother-in-law, Larry, and he supplied a detailed journey into making the dish. So, follow along as we prepare it.
Mustard greens are easy to grow in a Louisiana garden. They are in season in the fall and winter–both in gardens and in grocery stores. This year I doubled the fertilizer when planting the seedlings in September. It paid off; now they are “giant mustard greens.” Cooking fresh mustard greens is not difficult. If you don’t care for greens, I bet you will like this recipe. Last winter I brought a bunch of my mustard greens to Houston with me. Larry, my brother-in-law, is a creative cook and sent back step-by-step instructions with photos for making his recipe. It definitely is helpful to see what you are supposed to be doing when making this dish.
Making the recipe
Start ahead by purchasing the main ingredients: mustard greens and smoked turkey wings. Smoked turkey gives a nice flavor to the dish; it is used as a seasoning and is cut into small pieces. Larry uses two entire turkey wings with both “drumstick” and “flipper” sections. Here is 3.5 lb of smoked turkey wings from the meat section of my grocery store.
Purchase an extra large bunch–at least a pound–of fresh mustard greens from a produce stand or grocery store. Mustard greens wilt and “cook down” so don’t hesitate about getting the large volume in a pound of greens–shown here.
Smoked turkey must be cooked further; it is smoked and is only partially cooked. So start by adding the turkey wing sections to a large pot and cover them with enough water to submerge the turkey pieces while preparing the rest of the recipe.
And following is Larry’s step-by-step instructions and photos–with a few photos from my own cooking to supplement his instructions. Here we go:
Step 9. Remove pot of smoked turkey from heat (after cooking for about an hour) and transfer meat into another bowl to cool. Reserve broth.
Step 10. Heat Dutch oven or stockpot large enough to contain the greens, cover bottom with peanut or vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add sliced onions along with fresh cracked black pepper, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and red chili pepper flakes to taste.Step 11. Cook until onion is softened. Then add chopped garlic and cook until aromatic.
Step 12. Add diced mustard greens ribs. Saute several minutes. Add a cup or two of reserved broth from smoked turkey to keep veggies from burning. Simmer.
Step 17. Add about a cup more turkey broth and additional seasoning, if desired, and cover.
Step 19. Greens are done when soft. Discard Bones. SPOILER ALERT: greens will cook down significantly.
Step 20. Serve immediately and store leftovers, if any, with liquid. If any reserved turkey broth is remaining, use for other recipes.
Southern Mustard Greens and Smoked Turkey, Original Recipe by Larry Levy
- 1 bunch fresh mustard greens (about 1 lb)
- 2 entire smoked turkey wings (about 3.5 lb) including both “drumstick” and “flipper” sections with wing tip
- About two cups broth from simmered wings; Use as needed.
- Peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion
- 1/2 head garlic
- Seasonings to taste:
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Method and Steps:
- Step 1. Cover smoked turkey wings in water until just covered and simmer while prepping rest of steps.
- Step 2. Select greens and inspect each leaf. Cut away any discolored or damaged sections.
- Step 3. Using knife, scissors, or by hand, cut/tear away and reserve center ribs/stems from broad leafy parts.
- Step 4. Roll leaves into cigar-shape lengths, and cut crosswise into about 1 inch sections.
- Step 5. Put cut greens into large bowl filled with water and toss leaves to separate. Let soak while preparing next steps.
- Step 6. Trim ends of ribs/stems and wash ribs under running water and then cut crosswise as for celery.
- Step 7. Prep garlic and cut into coarse chop
- Step 8. Prep onion, cut in half and then thinly slice into half rings.
- Step 9. Remove pot of smoked turkey from heat (after cooking for about an hour) and transfer meat into another bowl to cool. Reserve broth.
- Step 10. Heat Dutch oven or stockpot large enough to contain the greens, cover bottom with peanut or vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add sliced onions along with cracked black pepper, Tony Chachere’s and red chili pepper flakes to taste.
- Step 11. Cook until onion is softened. Then add chopped garlic and cook until aromatic.
- Step 12. Add diced mustard greens ribs. Add a cup or two of reserved broth from smoked turkey to keep veggies from burning. Simmer.
- Step 13. Remove skin from cooked and cooled smoked turkey and discard. Cut meat off bones and dice.
- Step 14. Return diced meat and large pared bones into pot with veggies and continue to simmer.
- Step 15. Finish rinsing greens and grab handfuls of cut greens. Squeeze out excess water and add drained greens to stockpot.
- Step 16. Using tongs, turn veggies and leaves until mixed. The greens will wilt rapidly and reduce in volume.
- Step 17. Add about a cup more turkey broth and additional seasoning, if desired, and cover.
- Step 18. Simmer covered until leaves are tender. Stir and mix about every 10 minutes, cooking about 35 to 50 minutes in total time.
- Step 19. Greens are done when soft. Discard Bones. SPOILER ALERT: greens will cook down significantly.
- Step 20. Serve immediately and store leftovers, if any, with liquid. If any reserved turkey broth is remaining, use for other recipes.
Traditionally, mustard greens are served with cornbread. Here is a past post with cornmeal muffins which is easy to prepare.
And here’s a recipe for Home-Style Cornbread in another past post:
However, we often eat the mustard greens without cornbread. (I like a little vinegar added.) Just enjoy!