Have you ever found yourself standing in the poultry aisle of your local grocery store, staring at a package of chicken gizzards and wondering what on earth they taste like? Well, you’re not alone.
Chicken gizzards, a type of organ meat, often fly under the radar in many kitchens, but they’re a culinary secret just waiting to be discovered.
As a home cook, I’ve always been intrigued by the less commonly used parts of the chicken. There’s something incredibly satisfying about turning an ingredient that others might overlook into a delicious and memorable dish.
And let me tell you, chicken gizzards have been one of those delightful surprises.
In this article, I’ll share with you my experiences, tips, and insights about chicken gizzards. By the end of this, you’ll know what chicken gizzards taste like and how to cook them to bring out their best flavors.
How Do Chicken Gizzards Taste?
The taste of chicken gizzards is both sweet and savory, with a flavor that’s like dark chicken meat yet more intense.
The earthiness is subtle, but it adds a layer of complexity that makes the gizzards stand out in a dish. They carry a hint of metallic tang, similar to liver, but with a more pronounced gamey flavor.
Chicken gizzards’ texture is firm and chewy, almost like a cross between chicken breast and calamari.
It’s a satisfying texture to bite into, adding a delightful contrast to softer ingredients in a dish.
As for the smell, chicken gizzards have a mild, meaty aroma that becomes more pronounced when cooked.
What Does Chicken Gizzard Compare With?
- Liver: Chicken gizzards share a similar metallic tang with chicken liver, although gizzards have a more pronounced gamey flavor.
- Dark Chicken Meat: Chicken gizzards’ rich, robust flavor is reminiscent of dark chicken meat but with a more intense taste.
- Calamari: In terms of texture, chicken gizzards are firm and chewy, much like calamari. The chewiness provides a satisfying bite that’s quite unique.
- Chicken Heart: Chicken gizzards and hearts have a certain toughness, although gizzards are usually chewier. They also share a similarly rich, meaty flavor.
- Duck Meat: The gamey flavor of chicken gizzards is often compared to duck meat, especially when the gizzards are cooked in a way that highlights their inherent flavors.
Does Chicken Gizzard Taste Good?
While I love them, chicken gizzards might not be for everyone.
Some people might find the gamey flavor too strong or the chewy texture off-putting. The metallic tang, similar to liver, might also be a taste that requires some getting used to.
As with any food, whether chicken gizzards taste good or not is largely subjective. It depends on individual taste preferences.
How To Make Chicken Gizzards Taste Good
- Marinate: Marinating chicken gizzards before cooking can help to tenderize them and infuse them with flavor. You can use a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices.
- Slow Cook: Slow-cooking chicken gizzards can make them incredibly tender. Try simmering them in a flavorful broth or sauce for a few hours.
- Fry: Frying chicken gizzards gives them a crispy exterior that contrasts beautifully with their chewy interior. Coat them in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs before frying for extra flavor and crunch.
- Pair with Bold Flavors: The robust flavor of chicken gizzards pairs well with bold, hearty flavors. Try cooking them with onions, garlic, bell peppers, and spicy or smoky seasonings.
- Remove Excess Fat: While some fat can add flavor, too much can make the gizzards taste greasy. Trim off any excess fat before cooking.
- Serve with a Dipping Sauce: A tangy or spicy dipping sauce can complement the rich flavor of chicken gizzards. Try a homemade barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or tangy mustard sauce.
How To Eat Chicken Gizzards
Fried Chicken Gizzards
One of the most popular ways to eat chicken gizzards is to fry them. This method gives the gizzards a crispy, golden exterior that contrasts beautifully with the chewy interior.
Fried chicken gizzards are often served as a snack or appetizer, accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce.
Stewed Chicken Gizzards
Stewing is another great way to prepare chicken gizzards. This method involves simmering the gizzards in a flavorful broth or sauce for several hours, which makes them incredibly tender.
Stewed chicken gizzards can be served as a main dish, often with rice or bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
Grilled Chicken Gizzards
Grilling chicken gizzards can be a unique and tasty option for those who enjoy outdoor cooking. Grilling imparts a smoky flavor to the gizzards, which complements their natural taste.
Grilled chicken gizzards can be served on skewers as a fun and flavorful appetizer or as part of a mixed grill platter.
The key to grilling gizzards is to marinate them first to tenderize and add flavor and then to grill them over medium heat to avoid drying them out.
Chicken Gizzards in Soups and Stews
Chicken gizzards can also be used as an ingredient in soups and stews. Their robust flavor can add depth to the broth, and their chewy texture provides a satisfying contrast to the other ingredients.
Whether it’s a hearty chicken soup, a spicy gumbo, or a comforting pot of chicken and dumplings, adding chicken gizzards can elevate the dish to a new level of deliciousness.
What Do Chicken Gizzards Look Like?
Chicken gizzards are a type of organ meat found in the digestive tract of chickens.
Raw chicken gizzards are typically a deep, dark red color, similar to other organ meats. They’re small and somewhat round in shape, with a slightly curved form. The surface is smooth but with a noticeable grain or texture.
One distinctive feature of gizzards is the presence of a tough, rubbery lining on the inside, which is usually removed before cooking.
When cooked, the deep red color turns to a rich, dark brown, and the texture becomes firmer and chewier.
If they’re fried, they’ll have a crispy, golden exterior that contrasts with the chewy interior. If they’re stewed or slow-cooked, they can become incredibly tender, almost melting in your mouth.
In terms of size, chicken gizzards are quite small, usually about the size of a golf ball or smaller. This makes them perfect for serving as a snack or appetizer or for incorporating into a variety of dishes.
Chicken Gizzard FAQs
What part of the chicken is the gizzard?
The gizzard is part of a chicken’s digestive tract. It’s a muscular organ that grinds food before passing into the intestines. Chickens don’t have teeth, so the gizzard helps them break down their food.
Can you eat chicken gizzards raw?
No, chicken gizzards should not be eaten raw. Like all poultry, they can carry bacteria such as Salmonella that can cause foodborne illness. Always cook chicken gizzards thoroughly to a safe internal temperature of 165 ºF.
Are chicken gizzards good for you?
Yes, chicken gizzards are good for you. They are a rich protein source and provide a good amount of iron and zinc. However, like all organ meats, they are also high in cholesterol, so they should be eaten in moderation.
Are chicken gizzards high in protein?
Yes, chicken gizzards are high in protein. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked chicken gizzards provides about 30 grams of protein, making them a great choice for those looking to increase their protein intake.
My Tasty Thoughts
One of the things I love about chicken gizzards is their versatility. They can be the star of the show in a dish, or they can play a supporting role, adding depth and complexity to the flavors.
And while they might not be to everyone’s taste, I find that their robust flavor and chewy texture add a delightful contrast to many dishes.
Try them in different preparations and see how you like them best. And remember, like any ingredient, the key to making chicken gizzards taste good is to cook them with care and respect for their unique qualities.
So, next time you’re at the grocery store and see a package of chicken gizzards, why not try them?