It does work, as long as your hub meets the minimum quality standards as judged by the MTurk assessment, in that they will go back to being featured. For most people the hubs lost their featured status because of lack of traffic, rather than quality so they will be featured again.
Whether it is worth it is another question. If they become featured but don't get search traffic, eventually they will lose their status again. So I think you need to think carefully about why they didn't get traffic to start with and whether the edits you're doing now will make it better.
In some cases, it is really worth it, for example a seasonal hub whose season is about to come up. In other cases, I don't bother to do anything with my idle hubs. Usually the problem is bad keyword research to start with, either the keyword didn't have search volume, or the competition was so too high.
What is good is if you can figure out an alternative keyword to use that might work better, maybe something more specific. In that case changing the title, and perhaps getting the new keyword in the content a couple of times is definitely worth it. Sometimes it is pretty hopeless, to be honest.
I find recipe hubs very challenging. There are so many recipe specific sites out, that always come up when I search for something, I think it is very difficult to compete with them. Unless you make the title very specific (but something that still gets search volume).