A chicken’s gizzard is an organ found in its digestive tract that helps the bird break down the food it eats. When a chicken eats, the food first passes through its stomach (known as the “proventriculus” or “true stomach”) and then goes through the gizzard. The gizzard grinds up the good and then passes it back to the stomach before digestion is completed.
Chicken gizzard dishes are a delicacy in certain cultures and popular in certain areas of the United States such as the South. They can be served in a variety of different ways: deep fried, as part of soup or stew, or grilled.
What Does Chicken Gizzard Taste Like?
If you like meat entrails like sweetbread and kidney, you will probably like the taste of chicken gizzards. Chicken gizzard has a milder taste than cow or pig organ meat. It takes a bit similar to dark chicken meat with a chewier and tougher consistency. The taste is like that of chicken heart.
What Are Some Popular Ways to Eat Chicken Gizzard?
Chicken gizzards can be cooked in a variety of ways. An easy way to prepare them is to use a crock pot or slow cooker. Simply gather the necessary ingredients: one pound of chicken gizzards, four tablespoons of olive oil, two medium tomatoes (sliced and peeled), a small onion (chopped), two cups of chicken broth, a dash of salt, white or brown rice, one tablespoon of finely chopped parsley, three cloves of garlic, and a cup of sliced mushrooms. Put the oil in a frying pan and bring to medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until the onions are golden brown.
Once you’ve sautéed the onions and garlic, mix in the gizzards and place into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients (the tomatoes, chicken broth, parsley, and mushrooms) except for the rice. You may need to add more broth or water such that the gizzards are fully submerged (though you want them to be just below the water line). Cook for four hours. Remove the gizzards from the slow cooker. Measure the broth and add one cup of rice for every two cups of broth in the cooker. Put the gizzards back in the slow cooker and cook for a few more hours with the rice until the gizzards are fully cooked, and the rice has absorbed most or all of the broth.
Another popular way to eat chicken gizzard is country-fried. For this dish, you’ll need 1.5 pounds of gizzards, half a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of black pepper, 1-2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 1.5 tablespoons of salt, and two cups of oil (vegetable or olive oil) for frying. You may add other seasonings depending on taste. First, trim the fat off the gizzards and rinse. Then place the meat in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Preheat an oiled skillet to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the flour, pepper, salt, and garlic powder well and coat the chicken. Cook thoroughly until the chicken is a deep brown (warning: eating undercooked meat and chicken can be hazardous). You may want to draw out some of the excess oil with a paper towel before serving.
Is Chicken Gizzard Healthy?
Chicken gizzard can be a relatively healthy way to add protein to your diet. A 100-gram serving contains about 95 calories, less than three grams of fat, of which less than one is saturated fat, and 240 milligrams of cholesterol. For comparison, a similarly sized serving of chicken breast meat has about 160 calories (although with a single gram of saturated fat, chicken breast is also fairly healthy). Chicken breast, however, has much lower levels of cholesterol.
For guidance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if you eat about 2,000 calories each day, you should aim to consume no more than 20 grams of saturated fat and less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. If you suffer from high cholesterol, you should consume less than 200 milligrams per day, or follow your doctor’s advice.
Chicken gizzard is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. A serving provides 14% of your daily iron requirements, 6% of your vitamin C, 5% of your potassium requirements, and trace amounts of vitamin A and calcium. Iron plays a crucial a role helping your red blood cells carry oxygen; without enough iron, you become fatigued and weak.