Cook's Note: Store the remaining seasoning mixture in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 bunches collard greens
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 cups chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 smoked ham hock
For the seasoning mixture: In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, mustard and thyme. Stir to blend. Set aside.
For the collards: Remove the stems and ribs from the collard greens. Stack the leaves and roll them up like a cigar. Slice into 1-inch strips. Wash in cold water and shake off excess.
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon, onions and garlic; saute until the onions have softened and are just starting to color, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture and mix well. Add the chicken stock, vinegar and 2 cups water. Stir, then add the collard greens and ham hock to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the collards are tender, stirring every 20 minutes.
Remove the ham hock and pull all the meat from the bone. Chop into smaller pieces, then return to the pot. Stir to combine. Remove the collard and meat mixture from the pot, shake off excess cooking liquid and transfer to a serving plate.