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Collard Green Melt

  • Author: Joy the Baker adapted from Turkey and the Wolf
  • Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours to cook greens and prep ingredients
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes of assembly
  • Total Time: 34 minute
  • Yield: Serves 4 with leftovers 1x
  • Category: lunch, dinner, sandwich



For the collards (make these the day before if you can):

  • About 10 packed cups fresh collard greens (either from a bag of stems removed and coarsely chopped to 1-2-inch pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Zatarain’s creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons granulated chicken bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 cups of water

For the coleslaw:

  • 1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
  • About 1/4 cup very thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 6 cups packed thinly sliced green cabbage

For the Russian dressing:

  • 3/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pickled banana peppers
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

To assemble the sandwich:

  • unsalted butter to toast bread
  • 8 sliced soft rye bread
  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced oven roasted chicken


  1. First make the collards. This takes the longest amount of time (2 1/2 hours, yikes) so they can also be made the day before.
  2. In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir around the pan until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, vinegars, hot sauce, creole seasoning, chicken bouillon and salt. Stir to combine before adding 8 cups of water.
  3. Increase heat to high and bring broth to a simmer. Add greens, a few handfuls at a time, allowing the greens to wilt before adding more. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low to reduce the greens and the liquid, uncovered, for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the liquid is taken down to about 1 inch high in the pan. The greens will really wilt and become downright mushy which is what we’re going for.
  4. Let the collards cool in the potlikker before placing in a lidded container in the fridge if you’ve made the greens the day before. Bring greens to room temp to make the sandwich.
  5. To make the coleslaw, in a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, onions, vinegar, salt, pepper and celery seeds. Add the shredded cabbage and toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the sandwich.
  6. To make the Russian dressing, in a small bowl combine all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  7. To assemble the sandwich, heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Also, preheat the oven to broil. Melt a few tablespoons of butter onto the griddle and place bread slices (in batches if you don’t have the space). Toast so the bottoms of the bread are golden then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Top each slice of bread with cheese and place in the broiler just until the cheese is melted.
  8. Slather each slice of bread with Russian dressing. Top one side of bread with coleslaw. Top the other with collard greens. Add a few pieces of roasted chicken. Smash the sandwich together. Spear with two toothpicks and slice in half. This is a messy sandwich but holy shit it’s good!

Keywords: collard green, sandwich, chicken sandwich, turkey and the wolf, duke's mayo, recipe