Smoked Turkey Collards

A Great Side Dish For Thanksgiving, or any time!

Greens On Plate

Greens, greens, I love some greens, on the far side of the hill! Yes, the New Christie Minstrels said it best back in the fabulous sixties, in one of the best songs about greens ever recorded. Wait, what? The song wasn’t about collard greens? Well, as far as I’m concerned there should be a great number of songs touting the virtues of collard greens.

The plan was to post a Thanksgiving pulled pork recipe, but it wasn’t quite at 100% so I decided to work on it a bit longer and post one of the side dishes, which was 100%. The side dish of which I speak is smoked turkey collard greens. I know the trendy green these days is kale, but I have to say, my favorite of all greens are collards. I understand that kale is on the way out, to be replaced by some other trendy green. Chard? Dandelion? Turnip? Whatever is the flavor of the moment, I am pretty sure that collard greens will always be my favorite. I can’t say for sure if it the greens themselves or the way they are prepared that fuel my obsession, but the juice, or “pot liquor” as it is known, is the tasty elixir that makes this dish one of the tastiest.

Smoked Turkey

Traditionally, this is made with ham hocks, but to “Thanksgiving” this puppy up a bit, and also just because they are dang tasty, I used smoked turkey thighs.

I used about 2-1/2 pounds of collard greens, with stems still attached.

Start out by removing the stems from the greens. Grip the stem with one had, place  the other hand at the base of the leaf. Pull on the stem and zip off the leaf. Place in a large bowl or sink. Fill with water and soak 15-20 minutes to remove all the schmutz, of which there will be plenty. Grab a stack of leaves, and roll them up like a “see-gar”. Slice the roll in about 1/2″ strips until all the greens are sliced.

Greens Stacked

The dirt and whatnot will sink to the bottom, so remove the leaves from the water fairly gently so as not to jostle the water too much.

Heat up some oil in the pressure cooker. Add in some diced onion, BAM!, and sauté until translucent. Plop in the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Greens With Top

Put the greens in the pot. It is best to use your largest pressure cooker, which in my case would be my 7 litre Kuhn Rikon, but since my KR was at the time housing a 6-pound pork butt, it was up to my Instant Pot to pick up the slack and cook my greens.

If your greens fill your pot past the maximum line, I usually put any top that fits fairly well on top of my cooker and steam the greens until they are below the max line. This usually takes just a couple of minutes.

When the greens are down to a manageable level, put in a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of brown sugar, some salt and pepper and a shake of crushed red peppers.

Greens Turkey On Top

Top the greens with a couple of smoked turkey thighs.

Lock the top on the pressure cooker, bring to high pressure, adjust heat to maintain high pressure if using a stovetop model. Set the time for 25 minutes.

Greens Turkey Cooked

When time is up, immediately remove from heat. If using an electric pressure cooker, immediately remove the inner pot of the cooker.

Take the turkey thighs and place on a plate or cutting board.

Turkey Thighs Plate

Let them cool for 5 minutes or so and with a fork remove the meat from the bones. Remove most of the skin but it’s fine to leave a little. It is where most of the flavor is, don’t you know.

Turkey Shredded

Now, take that tasty turkey and blend it back in with the greens.

Pour into a serving bowl, or if you are serving later, put in a sealable container and refrigerate.

Smoked Turkey Greens Cooked

Makes a tasty side to any BBQ meal, and also a great addition to any Thanksgiving spread.

Smoked Turkey Collards
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: southern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
A turkey-ized take on the Southern classic, perfect for a holiday side dish
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-1/2 pounds collard greens (weight with stems), stems removed and chopped into ½" strips
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • A sprinkle of crushed red pepper (around ⅛ teaspoon)
  • 2 smoked turkey thighs
  1. With the pressure cooker pot on medium high heat, place 2 tablespoons oil
  2. When oil looks shimmery, add the onions and sauté until translucent
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Pour the chicken stock into the pot
  5. Place the greens into the pressure cooker
  6. If it is above the maximum limit line, put any lid that will fit on top for a couple minutes and let steam until the greens are below the maximum line
  7. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper
  8. Place the smoked turkey thighs on top
  9. Lock lid on pressure cooker and set time for 25 minutes
  10. When time is up, do a quick release and immediately remove the inner pot from the pressure cooker, if using electric
  11. Remove the turkey to a plate, let cool for 5 minutes or so, then use a fork to remove the meat from the bones. Discard most of the skin, but you can leave a little of it.
  12. Add the turkey meat back into the greens and mix with a spoon
  13. Move to a serving bowl and serve


Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Custard

A Very Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving, Part II

 (The recipe has been updated to correct the amount of syrup and add brown sugar. That’s what happens when I try to write my post at midnight.)

You can’t have a Thanksgiving feast without desert. It’s just a fact. As someone who rarely has dessert, it still seems like the holiday is incomplete without some pumpkiny goodness. Sure, there are other holiday desserts of the non-pumpkin variety, but you can keep that mincemeat stuff. What the hell is that stuff anyway?

For me, pumpkin is synonomous with dessert as far as Thanksgiving is concerned.

And trying to exercise a modicum of restraint, eliminating the pastry from the dessert leaves a little wiggle room to sneak in an extra slice of turkey or two. And this is basically pumpkin pie without the crust. And since I will be cooking a big enough variety of items this Thanksgiving, I would rather not have to deal with a pastry as well.

I tried this once without the pressure cooker using this recipe. It was good, but I thought I could improve upon it using the pressure cooker and making a few changes. I may be biased, but the results were delish!

Since all four of my ramekins wouldn’t fit in a steamer basket, I placed them directly on the bottom of the pressure cooker in the water.

This makes four custards, aprroximately 10 oz. each. If you can’t fit all four into your pressure cooker at once, you could do two at a time.

Since this holiday season really snuck up on me, I have to hustle to get my Thanksgiving series in under the wire.

I have to admit, when I make these for the S.O. and myself, no matter how much restraint I try to exercise, these are so tasty that I usually tell myself I am only going to have one, then I put the empty ramekin in the sink, go back to my chair and sit down for 30 seconds before I get up to get a second one.
And here’s the recipe:


1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, get the one that is 100% pumpkin)

2 cups heavy cream (divided)

2 large eggs plus one yolk, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons butter

4 ounces or so walnut halves

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon (approximately) freshly ground nutmeg (ground will probably work, but do yourself a favor and grind it yourself. It is definitely worth it!) Plus a little more for the top


In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine pumpkin, 1 cup cream and eggs. Add in brown sugar and 1/3 cup maple syrup. Keep mixing. Add in cinnamon, ground cloves and the nutmeg. Mix for a couple minutes.

Divide between four ramekins. If your ramekins do not have lids, cover with foil
Put 1/2 cup water or whatever the minimum is for your pressure cooker in the pot of your cooker. Place the ramekins in the pot. Turn heat to high and cover.

When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for ten minutes.

In the meantime, melt butter over medium heat in skillet. When butter is melted, add walnuts and toast them in the butter for a couple of minutes. When the walnuts start to take on a little color, add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and stir for a couple minutes more.

When timer sounds, remove pressure cooker from heat and release pressure naturally.

When pressure is released, remove ramekins from the pressure cooker. You can refrigerate for later, or let cool a little and serve warm.

When ready to serve, add the remaining cup of cream and the remaining syrup and whip (I used the immersion blender, but you can use your favorite whipping method. Just be sure to Whip It, Whip It Good)

Top each custard with walnuts

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Let me know how you like it!