How To Cook Chicken Gizzards: An Easy Guide
If you ever feel like craving something traditional, healthy, and easy, Chicken Gizzard might just be for you! Today, I will be teaching you how to cook chicken gizzards, with two delicious recipes!
I recently met up with an old friend I haven’t seen in years, and of course we had a lot to talk about. After some time the conversation turned to food, where we really started an energetic discussion.
My friend Jill topped my theory of chicken preparation with a question "What about chicken gizzards?"
I was stoked - she has found a way to win in our small debate, because I never encountered gizzards before, and had a small epiphany.
Jill's favorite dish since her younger days is gizzard stew, and I've got myself into the mood to learn how to cook chicken gizzards the right way, and surprise her with a perfect stew.
Preparing the Gizzards - Tips
Learning to prepare gizzards was somewhat challenging. This was mostly due to the fact that they, although common in a lot of culinary traditions, are found in oral culinary traditions. That does not mean that they are hard to prepare.
The most important thing to know is that gizzards can have stones or other foreign objects in them, as chickens swallow them to aid in their digestion process. This means that checking and cleaning them properly is paramount, or you will hurt yourself on a stone.
If you are buying them preprocessed, the gizzards are usually cleaned in the packaging factory, though some imperfections can remain. Your best way to be sure is to cut them open or into thinner pieces and see or feel beneath your fingers for any hard spots. If you find them, you can just cut them out and clean that part with water.
Another thing to note is that they are small pieces of meat, meaning that they need to be properly thermally treated to kill off any bacteria. But, because they are small, you must be careful not to burn them.
All of this can sound like a lot of difficult things to learn and do, but if my years of experience have taught me anything, it’s the ability to discern what would be easy or hard for someone to do.
And I can safely say that even a beginner can fix these recipes up without too much effort. Now, I’ve found and practiced a few ways to prepare chicken gizzards and will show you now:
1. Chicken Gizzard Stew
Chicken Gizzard Stew is a dish that fuses gourmet and traditional into an easy to make meal. It is easier to make than it sounds like. Furthemore, it’s Jill’s favorite dish!
- 2 packs of gizzards
- 4 cups of water
- 1 lime
- 2 tsp of fresh lime juice
- 3 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 Chicken base
- Parsley and thyme
- Jalapeño with cloves
- 1 ½ Tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 Tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Onions for garnish
Related Recipe: Chicken Patties In Tomato Sauce
- Clean the gizzards - Although the gizzards are already cleaned before they are packaged, a little personal touch never hurts, especially when it comes to cleaning. The method is quite simple. Remove the fat, cut the gizzard open, and here is the really interesting part of this process: rub the gizzards with a slice of lime, and then rinse them with hot water.
- Start the cooking process - Any type of deep pot can be used. As with any meat-based dish, thermal treatment is paramount, so we will be setting the stove to medium-high heat, in order to properly cook the food. Remember that no amount of seasoning will replace a proper cooking, baking or frying. Water will be added later and around that time the stove will be at the desired temperature. After adding the gizzards, all steps until step #9 should be done in quick succession.
- Add the tomatoes - All that I did to prepare them for this dish is wash and slice them, one in half, and one in quarters. I didn’t even remove the seeds, there is no need to do so, as tomato seeds are already soft. The cooking will only soften them even more, you will not be able to see any difference.
- Season the gizzards and the tomatoes - Salt and pepper are your main seasonings for any good meal, and you can’t go wrong with them. Covering both the gizzards and the tomatoes with a little bit of salt and pepper will insure that when the juices start flowing out, they will be better infused. Stir them up in order to have a better coverage. You can use any other spice you feel like, but I just wanted to make sure that it is as close to the traditional recipe as it can be.
- The chicken base - This dish is, in essence, a chicken stew, so it is only natural that it has that familiar taste to it. That is why I have decided to put a piece of homemade chicken base, as a healthy, modern substitute to adding parts of chicken that you would remove otherwise.
- Vegetable infusion - Adding a tie of celery and thyme, as well as a jalapeño with cloves that are pierced into it will work wonders to this dish, making it smell and taste like heaven, just make sure that you don’t pick a jalapeño that is too spicy for your taste.
- Add water - Adding the water now, at the step #7 means that you will have control over how much you need. Not too little, this is supposed to be a stew, after all. But not too much, because a part of it will need to evaporate, in order to be a little bit thicker.
- Adding lime juice - A single teaspoon of lime juice, in order to give it a bit of tartness to the dish.
- Cover and cook - As I stated before, the stove should be on medium-high temperature, so all you need to do right now is cover the pot with the lid for about 50 minutes to an hour, depending on how soft you wanted the meat to be.
- Gravy making - After about an hour of cooking, take the stew and pour it into a different bowl, because we will be using the pot to make the gravy. First, pour in the olive oil. You could use other oils, but I find the olive one to be the best. Then, we add 1 ½ tablespoons of tomato paste, and stir it for two to three minutes, until it reaches the nice golden brown color. After it is done, add a few spoons of the stew juices and mix it in with the tomato paste. This will smooth the gravy out and increase the quantity.
- Pouring it back in - After making the gravy, pour the stew back into the pot, and add the second teaspoon of lime juice, as well as a little bit more of salt. This is a good time to check if you need to add more salt or not.
- Simmering - Putting the lid back on and letting it simmer for another 5 minutes on low heat is important, for it allows the tastes to fuse even further.
- Onions - Adding the onions as a garnish at the end of the cooking process is an easy way to make a good tasting dish taste even greater. Turn off the stove, but keep the pot on it, and let the steam soften them up and blend them in. Some may not like onion, but unless you do not eat it for medical reasons, this is a great way to try. It will not be too strong, but will improve the flavor tremendously.
There you have it - the perfect chicken gizzard stew! I got really serious and careful in preparing, so I couldn’t wait for Jill to come to her surprise.
While we’re here, there’s more ways to prepare chicken gizzards, and here’s one of the most popular ones:
2. Baked Chicken Gizzards
If stews don’t interest you, maybe Baked Chicken Gizzards will. They are simpler to prepare, but delicious nonetheless.
- 2 packs of gizzards
- 2 cups of flour
- Salt and pepper
- Stick of butter
- Clean the gizzards - As with the stew, the gizzards should already be clean, but better safe than sorry. No lime is used this time, only water.
- Preparing the tools - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and coat the bottom of the baking tray with a ¼ of an inch with butter.
- Flour and seasoning mix - Salt and pepper, mixed together with flour in a bowl, will be more than enough of seasoning for baked gizzards. Roll the gizzards in until they are generously covered.
- Baking - Place the gizzards into the baking tray and bake them for 30 minutes. I took the tray out after 15 minutes to turn them, though this is not necessary.
A Yummy Conclusion...
Not wanting to hoard the knowledge of these delicious chicken gizzard meals, nor the delicious meals themselves, I invited my friend Jill over to lunch, one I was sure she was going to enjoy.
She was suspicious and defensive at first, not wanting to ruin fond childhood memories, but all that suspicion dissipated in an instant when the divine smell that was filling the air towards the dining table tickled her senses.
She was filled with joy and gratitude, as plate after plate was being emptied! 🙂