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Liberian Stewed Greens with Chicken and Fresh Chilies
1 hour 10 minutes
The Liberian dish known as fried greens simmers slivered sweet potato greens with onions, chilies and chicken or fish, and often both, until the ingredients meld into a stew with an almost “creamed” velvetiness. The name is derived from the technique of frying the greens in an abundance of oil before broth is added. We adapted the fried greens recipe we learned from Fannie Pratt, head cook at Fuzion restaurant in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Our version of the dish is lighter on the oil but still hearty. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are essential for achieving solid, satisfying flavor; during simmering, these parts infuse richness into the broth. Sweet potato greens are not easy to source in the U.S., so we opted for collards, which are similarly sturdy and can stand up to stewing. If you’re a fan of chili heat, leave the seeds in some or all of the chilies. Serve with steamed rice.
large bunches (about 2 pounds) collard greens, stems and leaves separated, stems roughly chopped, leaves thinly sliced, reserved separately
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
01In a food processor, pulse the collard stems until finely chopped, about 10 pulses; transfer to a medium bowl. Add half of the collard leaves to the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, about 7 pulses; set aside (do not combine with the stems).
Very good, and perfect for transporting me somewhere warm when its below freezing outside . I made a couple of minor changes based of my experience living in several West African countries, which added a little bit of an extra umph. I replaced the chicken stock with Maggie chicken bullion, added a tablespoon of fish sauce after step 2 (trying to mimic the dried fish added to almost all dishes), and then finished with a squeeze of half lemon in the pot plus slices of lemon for people to add. Personally I think the Fresno's would give a better flavor than jalapenos. I do not consider the 2 peppers as having similar flavor or heat profiles. It would be interesting to use one Habanero/Scotch Bonnet in the recipe, as a similar pepper is very common in the region.
Made this last night. I live in Texas where Fresno peppers are non-existent and jalapenos are everywhere, so had to make that substitution. Otherwise I made as directed. Last night I thought that this was bland, so I added a bunch of better than bouillon and some garlic. It was also WAY to watery for my taste. So, after we ate, I took the huge volume of leftovers that we had and let them simmer for a long time to eliminate some of the moisture. Then I put in the fridge overnight. Transformation! Now I love these greens. I think that Joseph's idea of adding fish sauce would be a great idea too.
We halved the recipe since it was just the 2 of us. After reading the previous comments, we skipped the chicken broth and used a scant tablespoon of Beyond Bouillon Roasted Chicken paste in 2 cups of water and skipped additional salt. Fresh chiles are limited in northern New England, so we used a fresh poblano. Instead of fish sauce, we had shaved dried Bonita and added about 2 tablespoons. Not sure how our version relates to the original, but it was darn tasty.
Yum! And pretty darn healthy. Used 1 1/2 bags of Quorn Tenders to make is vegetarian and needed four bunches of collards, the bunches were so small. Probably ended up with more stems than the recipe would like, but it worked out great.