What Are Chicken Gizzards?
Chicken gizzards are increasingly becoming a popular food choice globally. A chicken gizzard is the muscle along a chicken’s digestive tract, also known as the ventriculus or stomach. The gizzard works as a chicken’s stomach.
While chicken gizzards are pretty small compared to other creatures’ guts, they have a distinctive taste, almost similar to dark chicken meat, although gizzards have a more rigid texture. Chicken gizzards are awesomely tasty and pack dozens of nutritional benefits.
The Anatomy of a Chicken Gizzard
A chicken gizzard is a crucial part of a chicken’s digestive system. It sits between the intestine and the saclike crop. A chicken gizzard has thick muscular walls containing small stones that aid in breaking down the foods a chicken consumes.
A tendonous layer covers the surface of a chicken’s gizzard. The outer layer of a chicken’s gizzard has thick circular muscles.
The gizzard also has thick inner cuticles comprising six plates acting as teeth. Ideally, the gizzard works as a chicken’s mechanical stomach.
Because all birds, including chickens, don’t have teeth, they swallow their food whole. The food then lands in a chicken’s gizzard, where this organ mixes and grinds the food.
Preparation & Cooking Methods for Chicken Gizzards
Chicken gizzards make tasty meals. While gizzards are delicious, thorough preparation and cooking are vital in making these organs taste great.
Besides preparing your gizzards for cooking, it’s also wise to use the best cooking methods. Thankfully, you can use several ways to cook chicken gizzards.
Clean and Prepare Chicken Gizzards for Cooking
It’s good you clean the chicken gizzards you are preparing to cook because gizzards have many elements that aren’t suitable for human consumption. For instance, gizzards contain grit and small objects chickens swallow while feeding.
Before cleaning your gizzards, it’s best to make shallow cuts right down the center to reveal the inner yellow sacks and their contents. Remove the contents without making dipper cuts into the gizzards.
Soak the gizzards in a water container and start cleaning the organs. Rinse the clean gizzards in water until the water turns clear. Remove the inner yellow sacks from the gizzards to expose the chunks of meat on all sides of the gizzards.
Prepare the gizzards for cooking after cleaning the organs. Preparation is easy because you either cut the gizzards into smaller pieces or cook whole gizzards after cleaning.
Different Ways to Cook Chicken Gizzards
The good thing about cooking chicken gizzards is that you can cook these organs differently. Below are different ways you can cook chicken gizzards.
Fried Chicken Gizzards
Frying is one of the best ways of cooking chicken gizzards. Fried gizzards taste fantastic, and can make them tastier by adding many ingredients.
These are some of the elements you can use for cooking chicken gizzards.
- 2 pounds of chicken gizzards
- One cup of all-purpose flour
- Two tablespoons of seasoned salt
- Two tablespoons of garlic powder
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
Directions for Frying Chicken Gizzards
- Trim excess gristle and fat from the chicken gizzards before rinsing the organs under running water.
- Put the chicken gizzards in a container full of cold water and boil the gizzards for around 15 minutes.
- Combine the black pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and all-purpose flour in a container.
- Put some vegetable oil in the skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat, preferably 190 degrees Celsius.
- Coat the gizzards with the flour mixture and place them in the hot vegetable oil. Cook the gizzards until they turn brown. Reduce the heat and cook the gizzards for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the fire and serve them while hot.
Baked Chicken Gizzards
Baking is also another popular method of cooking tasty chicken gizzards. Follow this recipe to bake delicious gizzards for family or friends.
- Trim excess fat from the gizzards you are preparing for baking
- Marinate the chicken gizzards in yogurt or cultured buttermilk for at least 12 hours to soften the organs
- Rinse the gizzards in cold running water to remove the yogurt or cultured buttermilk from the organs. Place the gizzards on a baking tray and heat the oven to around 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Remove the gizzards from the oven after 45 minutes and season them with kosher salt and grounded black pepper.
- Place the gizzards in a shallow baking container and coat them with vegetable oil.
- Put the gizzards back in the oven and bake them for around 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pull the baking dish with the chicken gizzards from the oven and add some boiling water. Add spices and fresh herbs to the gizzards for flavor.
- Bake the gizzards at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit until the organs are tender.
- Serve the baked, spicy gizzards on plates
Roasted Chicken Gizzards
Roasted chicken gizzards are crispy and delicious. Roasting is one of the easiest ways of cooking chicken gizzards. Here is how you should roast chicken gizzards to make a sumptuous treat.
- Rinse the chicken gizzards under cold running water and trim away the excess fat and tissue.
- Heat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and pat the organs dry with a clean paper towel.
- Season the organs with ground black pepper and kosher salt. Place the gizzards in a baking dish before coating them with vegetable oil.
- Roasts the gizzards for 30 minutes at 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Remove the organs from the oven and serve them to family or friends
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Chicken Gizzards
Chicken gizzards aren’t only delicious and easy to cook in different ways, but these organs also have many nutritional benefits.
These are some of the nutritional benefits of eating chicken gizzards.
Gizzards Are High in Protein
A chicken gizzard is one of the healthiest parts of a chicken. It’s lean and high in protein. A single chicken gizzard contains a hefty amount of protein, a nutrient crucial for muscle growth and development.
The protein in chicken gizzards can help your body regrow tissue after injuries. Gizzards are excellent for persons with protein deficiency, especially infants and kids, who require a substantial amount of protein.
Gizzards Are Rich Sources of Zinc
Zinc is one of the most crucial trace minerals for animals and humans. The mineral helps keep your metabolism and immune system functioning at their peak.
Furthermore, zinc is vital for wound healing. Chicken gizzards are high in zinc, unlike other types of meat. Consuming gizzards can give your body the additional zinc it needs when you can’t derive this crucial mineral from your regular diet.
Gizzards can be a good source of zinc for women since they require zinc to regulate their reproductive system. Zinc helps women grow healthy ovarian follicles.
Gizzards are Low in Cholesterol and Fat
Any meat can be a great source of protein and zinc our bodies need. However, most of these meats are high in cholesterol and fat, increasing your risk of high blood pressure and obesity over time.
Gizzards are low in cholesterol and fat, so eating these organs can lower your risk of hypertension and diabetes.
Rich Source of Vital Vitamins
Chicken gizzards have plenty of crucial vitamins, such as vitamins B12, 6, and niacin. Vitamin B12, for instance, is vital for DNA and red blood cell formation. The vitamin is also a crucial player in the functioning of nerves and brain cells.
The vitamin B6 in chicken gizzards can help keep your immune and nervous systems healthy. It’s also vital for brain development. Niacin is another vital vitamin that helps your body convert the foods you eat into energy.
The niacin in chicken gizzards can help you maintain healthy skin and digestive system. Very few foods have a sufficient amount of niacin, so eating gizzards can help you get enough of this vitamin.
Popular Dishes Around the World Featuring Chicken Gizzard
It’s easy to infuse chicken gizzards in many recipes. No wonder many popular dishes across the world feature chicken gizzards.
These are some famous dishes around the globe featuring chicken gizzards.
- Afritada-This is a popular Filipino dish comprising chicken gizzards, vegetables, potatoes, bell peppers, and braised pork. Most people serve this popular, tasty dish with white rice.
- Chicken à la King-This Caribbean dish consists of cream sauce, diced chicken gizzards, vegetables, sherry, and mushrooms. It sometimes features turkey gizzards instead of chicken gizzards, although they are the dish’s most common ingredients.
- Butter chicken– The popular Indian dish is a curry from chicken gizzards, butter, and spiced tomato. The dish is famous for its diverse texture.
- Chargha- The Pakistani dish consists of deep-fried chicken gizzards with spices and vegetables. The dish has a crispy and delicious taste.
Tips for Buying & Storing Chicken Gizzards
Kindly check these tips for buying and storing chicken gizzards
- Always purchase fresh chicken gizzards
- Always store gizzards in a fridge
- Always clean gizzards before storing them in your fridge
- Always purchase gizzards from reputable chicken meat dealers
- Always buy gizzards in bulk to get great deals and offers
Chicken gizzards can be a rare delight, which explains why these organs are becoming popular globally daily. Gizzards are easy to cook since they have no particular preparation requirements.
Moreover, you can cook these organs differently to suit your taste. Most importantly, chicken gizzards pack tremendous nutritional value, unlike most meat types.