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Fried Chicken and Collard Greens

When doing research for my book Hog and Hominy http://www.amazon.com/Hog-Hominy-Traditions-Perspectives-Culinary/dp/0231146388, I found that fried chicken and collard greens have long associations with black folks and religion dating back to West and Central Africa. Sources dated before the 1800s show that Mande women from West Africa batter frying chicken. Commonly they served chicken together with collard greens and dumplings. The African-American practice of eating chicken on special occasions is also a West Africanism that survived the African slave trade. Among the Igbo, Hausa, and Mande, poultry was eaten on special occasions as part of religious ceremonies. During the antebellum period enslaved African only had time to make fried chicken and sides dishes such as collard greens, corn bread, baked or candied sweet potatoes or yams, and fried okra among others on Sundays. Master gave their slaves off on Sundays and on few holidays and religious days.

Collard Green Recipe:
Wash the collards good in plenty of slightly salted water
Start out with 3 bunches which will serve 6 people, they are big bug the cook down like spinach. I steam mine in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes until the fibrous leaves are easy to eat. Steaming preserves the water soluble vitamins that are killed when you just boil the greens down like most of my ancestors have done for years.
Remove the collards from the pressure cooker and save the water to make the pot-licker
Season the water with 3 cubes of vegetable bullion, dried bay leaf, dried red pepper flakes, little vinegar, and some honey. Had a little liquid smoke which most grocery stores sell if you like that smoked meat flavor (the traditional recipe calls for a smoked ham hock or a hunk of smoked fat back).
The pot-licker is full of vitamins and great seasoning for the greens
Sauté the steamed greens with chopped onions and garlic in olive oil with your preferred seasonings like pepper, salt, etc.
Add sautéed greens to the pot-licker and let them marinade for 30 or more before serving

Sweet Potato Pie and Grits

The Smell of Fried Chicken