Special equipment: a deep fryer
For the beans and rice: The night before cooking, put the beans in a large pot and add water to cover. Soak overnight in a cool place. Drain and rinse before using.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ham, sausage, celery, bell pepper and saute, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Stir in the cayenne and cook 1 minute. Add the beans, 3 cups of the chicken broth and tomatoes and stir. Add the thyme, sage and bay leaf. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook the beans until tender but not too soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the bay leaves. Season the beans with salt and pepper. Remove 1 cup of the cooked beans and mash them. Return them to the pot and stir to combine with the whole beans.
During the last 20 minutes of cooking the beans, make the rice. Combine the rice, the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is just tender throughout, about 20 minutes. Keep the rice and beans warm.
For the collard greens: Place the ham hock in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with the lid slightly off and let simmer until the meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham hock from the pot and add the collard greens, lemon, thyme, hot sauce and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover with the lid slightly off and cook the collards until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the collards from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid.
Shred the meat from the ham hock and reserve.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shredded ham and cook until crisped up. Add the collards and stir. Add a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid and stir. Turn off the heat, cover and keep warm.
For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the chicken broth, vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and cayenne in a baking dish. Season the mixture with some salt and pepper, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid from the baking dish.
Heat the canola oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F or fill a heavy pot halfway with canola oil and heat it to 350 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the baking dish and pat it dry. Reserve the liquid in the baking dish. Deep fry the chicken until just browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Strain the cooking liquid from the baking dish into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir in the butter.
To serve, stir a few splashes of vinegar or hot sauce into the collard greens. Spoon some rice on each plate, top with the beans and collards and finish with 2 chicken thighs. Spoon the chicken sauce over the top.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.