Cooking the Unthinkable: Gizzards and Hearts
Cooking the Unthinkable is a series that examines some of the more eccentric ingredients. Whether you are a fan of the bizarre or are preparing for the eminent collapse of Western society this series will help you better stomach weird food.
As a child I always thought of fried chicken gizzards as a treat. Anyone could have fried chicken but chicken gizzards? You had to be rich to have those right? I mean they are so much tastier than most any other part of the bird, well except for the heart and a good package of gizzards would also have a few hearts thrown in.
Today I know better. Gizzards aren’t rich people food they are peasant food and yet another example that offal (what Tony Bourdain refers to as the “nasty bits”) is the best part of an animal. Offal refers to the various organs and generally unsavory parts that civilized folks don’t eat.
In this case gizzards are the muscular, thick-walled part of a bird’s stomach used for grinding food. And if sissies want to turn their noses up at them that’s OK with me because their childishness helps keep the prices low on the good stuff. I’d rather have thighs than legs, legs over wings and wings are far tastier than breasts which are the poultry equivalent to tofu only edible.
I’d take a plate full of fried gizzards over all of these. I’ve used gizzards a number of ways including finely chopped to make Dirty Rice, giblet gravy and in dressing. But for my money the best way to eat gizzards (or pretty much everything else) is fried. Like my regular fried chicken I like to marinate them in buttermilk for a while to help tenderize them and add a little more flavor. A nice spicy dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment although making a little gravy of the frying oil works as well. Heck I bet you could do them Buffalo style and they’d still be tasty. Check it out: