CAROLINA CHICKEN COLLARD GREENS STEW
"This is one of my family's favorite recipes. Collard greens are plentiful here in the South, and I developed this recipe to showcase them in a stew. Some folks say they don't like the taste of collards, but I believe that is because they have not had them fixed correctly. Trust me, anyone who tries this stew with a chunk of homemade corn bread will be begging for the recipe."
Candace McMenamin, Lexington, South Carolina
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 celery stalk, sliced
• 1 medium carrot, sliced
• 1 large potato, diced
• 1 tablespoon chopped thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 tablespoon chopped basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 tablespoon chopped oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 tablespoons white vinegar
• 4 cups loosely packed chopped collard greens
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 4 crisply cooked bacon slices
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. Heat the chicken broth and 3 cups water in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chicken thighs. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon; keep warm.
2. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, thyme, basil, and oregano to the broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, collard greens, salt, and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce die heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Shred the chicken into 1-inch strips and add to the stew; mix well. Simmer over medium heat until the chicken is thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.
5. Ladle the stew into 4 shallow soup bowls. Crumble 1 bacon slice over each serving. Sprinkle pecans over the top. Serve immediately.