1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 cups water
2 pounds collard greens, tough stems removed, washed, and cut into bite-sized pieces
For the dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Whether served on their own or as a side to fried chicken or ribs, these hearty greens are satisfying. The crispy bacon and smoky chipotle complement the collards, and the biscuitlike dumplings are the perfect vehicle to soak up the savory juices.
1Place the bacon in a 10-inch Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate and discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot.
2Add the onion, garlic, chiles, and measured salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
3Add the water, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the greens a handful at a time, adding more as they wilt, until they’re all in the pot. Cover with a tightfitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the greens are very tender and almost falling apart, about 30 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
For the dumplings:
1When the greens are ready, place the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk and melted butter and stir until the flour mixture is moistened and a soft dough forms.
2Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons about 1/2 inch apart into the simmering greens. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through and the tops are no longer sticky, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the chipotle pods from the pot if desired. Sprinkle the greens with the reserved bacon and serve immediately.