Gizzard is a muscular organ of the chicken that’s small in size and it’s texture is nothing you would expect from a chicken.They have a particularly distinctive taste,a lot tougher and chewer in texture as compared to other meats from the bird.
Their rough texture is attributable to the fact that chicken lacking in teeth as we all know,do not chew up their food and the gizzard is where all the grit that the bird ingests combined with the powerful movements of the gizzard muscle assist in breaking down the food ingested by a chicken.All this constant work makes a gizzard a tough,worked piece of meat.
This does not necessarily mean that the gizzard isn’t as pleasing to devour as any other part of the chicken.True its an acquired taste but there has to be a reason why growing up,we were meant to believe that it was taboo for women and children to enjoy this rare delicacy.
Rare,you might ask why I refer to them as a rare piece of delicacy.Imagine having to slaughter a whole chicken just for you to harvest one single gizzard? Now picture a plate full of gizzards and do the maths,so yeah they are a rare treat.
This has to be the reason why heads of family reserved this for themselves and I remember as a kid going through a ‘Sufuria’ picking up pieces of chicken whilst being careful not to accidentally pick up the gizzard and in turn invite some harsh words from my old who had one eye fixed on the proceedings inside the pot.
Fast forward to today and this part of the bird can be enjoyed by all young and old,male and female.
It’s key to note that organ meats should and must be consumed fresh as they taint and go bad easily.
You can always buy already prepared gizzards or if you are lucky enough to get your hands on fresh ones like I did, you will have to get your hands dirty and do the job yourself.First you will have to open up the gizzard,clean up all the grit and un digested food and thoroughly wash it.Cut off all the connective tissue and excess fats from the liver,removing the inner skin from the gizzard is key,otherwise you will end up with rubbery chewy liver,now you wouldn’t want that would you?
You can cut your gizzard into smaller pieces but I chose to cook mine just as it has been prepared for generations in our family.
Gizzards are not particularly known for their flavor and I felt they needed some help in that while at the same time trying not to overpower their natural taste.
I went with ginger,garlic,Habanero pepper and red onions.This brought some aromatic flavor and sweetness to my final meal.They were tantalizingly good.
The gizzard being a tough piece of meat,I tenderized them my marinating them in buttermilk.The acid in the buttermilk breaks down and tenderizes the gizzards without altering their flavor and it’s my favorite go to method when tenderizing any meats.
Also not pictured above was chicken stock.This is key and while you can substitute it with water it won’t come out as good as when you use stock.
This is a dish that’s simple enough to prepare and you won’t have gizzard any other way after trying out these ones.
Also it’s worthwhile noting that you don’t have to be limited to chicken gizzards as duck and turkey gizzards would substitute just as fine.
You can enjoy your gizzard dry fry as you may please.I had mine go down with ‘sukuma wiki’,Brown ugali’, ‘Mala’ and a side of ‘kachumbari’ just as we would growing up.This was filling and nostalgic in every way possible and I thought why not share this with you.
Buttermilk can be easily made at home.Add in two tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup fresh milk and use for whenever a recipe calls for buttermilk.Now you know!
- 500g chicken gizzards
- 1cup buttermilk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1tsp ginger
- 2 medium red onions
- 1 habanero Chilli (optional)
- Salt&pepper to taste
- Wash clean your gizzards removing any excess fat,connective tissues and the inner skin.
- In a bowl,add in your gizzards and pour over the butter milk.Set this in the fridge and let it marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook,discard the buttermilk and shake off any excess buttermilk from the gizzards.
- In a pot add in your gizzards,crushed garlic,minced ginger and habanero Chilli.Pour in the chicken stock until the gizzards are completely submerged in the stock.Top up with some water if the gizzards are not all submerged.Bring this to a rolling boil until almost all the stock has reduced down and the liver is fork tender.
- Julien your onions into thin even slices.
- Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a pan over high heat.
- Take out your gizzards discarding the habanero and any ginger garlic bits remaining behind.
- Fry your gizzards in the hot oil until golden brown.Mix in the onions Salt&pepper and continue frying until the onions caramelize and pick up a golden brown color just as the gizzards.
- Serve hot with a side of choice
If there is any other way you enjoy your gizzards,please feel free to let me know how on the comments section below.