By Cynthia Woodland | November 23, 2011


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For many Wisconsin families, a Thanksgiving meal just wouldn’t be complete without a big ol’ pot of greens. And for Madison resident John Givens, who cooks for his family and friends, serving greens without cornbread is almost a sin!

Today, he invites us into his kitchen to share a few of his secrets.

Patti LaBelle’s Screamin’ Mean Greens:

  • 5 pounds assorted greens (collard, kale, mustard, and turnip greens, in any combination), tough stems discarded
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 jalapenos , seeded and minced, optional
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) smoked turkey wing
  • Seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper


Tear the greens into large pieces. Wash the greens well in a sink full of cold water. Lift the greens out of the sink and transfer to a large bowl, leaving the grit to fall to the bottom of the sink. (Be sure you get all the grit out of the greens. If necessary, wash again.) Do not drain the greens in a colander.

In a large pot, combine the onions, two cups water, oil, and jalapenos, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually stir in the greens, allowing each batch to wilt before adding more greens. Bury the turkey wing in the greens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the greens are tender, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook the greens or they will lose their color and fresh flavor. Remove the turkey wing. Discard the skin and bones, chop the turkey meat, and return to the pot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to a serving dish. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6

Nutritional Information:

302 calories, 14.6 grams of fat, 1.2 grams saturated fat, 54 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 24.2 grams carbohydrates, 24.3 grams protein, 8.8 grams fiber

Cynthia Woodland

Cynthia Woodland

Cynthia Woodland is a development specialist at Wisconsin Public Radio.
2018-01-19T17:51:24-06:00Tags: , , , |

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