What to do with chicken gizzards?

I usually just throw them away, but I love liver and heart and feel bad about wasting them. I need an easy way to use them … most recipes online want me to freeze them until I have enough to do something big but I just want to know the fastest, easiest way of handling a small amount!



louisez September 2, 2022
I cook them for my cats 😻
702551 September 2, 2022
This really circles back to the larger topic of how to handle leftover or small pieces of food. We've already touched on serving them as as appetizer portion dish which is one option.

The other main way is what peasants have been doing since antiquity. If you don't have enough morsels to present as individual servings, stretch them out by mixing them up with other things.

Fried rice is one classic way of cleaning out a bunch of odds and ends, leftovers and whatnot. So are omelettes, soups, stews, raviolis/potstickers, dumplings, meat loaves, meatballs, etc.

For something like leftover chicken gizzards, I see no reason to run out to the store to buy more ingredients to make Test Kitchen-approved recipes A, B, or C. I'd think about what I have in my fridge and try to come up with whatever I have on hand.

Today, there's leftover rice in the fridge and bread on the counter but no tortillas. There's some leftover tomato sauce and stir fried veggies in the fridge, polenta triangles in the freezer, dried pasta in the pantry. I already have a multitude of preparations I can make with the gizzards, it really just depends on my mood.

Pretty much every culture that grows grains has something like a fried rice or risotto dish. Noodles are now ubiquitous. Soups/stewed were probably amongst the earliest assembled cooked dishes in human existence.

Grilling gizzards on a stick over fire predates all of that but it's certainly not the only way.

Here in the USA, offal is rarely served so you can't really go by looking at menus from American restaurants, even in the large metropolitan areas. Offal is more frequently served abroad so cooks who travel often have vision that extends to a more expansive and adventurous universe of possibilities.
Lori T. September 2, 2022
I couldn't agree with you more. There's a lot of talk about nose to tail eating, but so far it hasn't translated to the stores or food magazines for recipes or tips. And Americans tend to express a lot of food discrimination when it comes to the less instagram photogenic parts.
702551 September 2, 2022
The phrase "Ew, how can you eat that?!?" is uttered far more frequently in the USA than other parts of the world.

My guess is that 99.9% of flavors and seasonings that can be applied chicken breast and thighs can be successfully applied to gizzards; the cooking time may need to be adjusted.

Anyhow, if it turns out someone doesn't like gizzards on their own because of the texture or something, there are still ways to use it without wasting it.

Even the venerable Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1896) mentions saving the neck, backbone, gizzards and heart for soup or stock in the Cutting a Chicken section at the beginning of the Poultry chapter.

It's really up to the original inquirer on how to proceed since it comes down to her taste buds and those who will be joining her at her dinner table.
KLS September 2, 2022
My mother, who could make a gravy out of nothing used to make a gizzard stew. The stew part was delicious, the gizzards, not so much, kind of like eating rubberbands. I throw them out and don't feel bad about it, either. LOL
Lori T. September 2, 2022
You could always chop them finely and add them into a ragu for pasta. It's a common addition in dirty rice as well.
702551 September 1, 2022
The Japanese would skewer and grill them (yakitori). A delicious bar snack that goes great with beer or sake.

Spaniards would enjoy the same with a glass of sherry as tapas.
702551 September 1, 2022
If you don’t have skewers you could sauté them and add them warm to a salad.
702551 September 2, 2022
Reflecting on this a little more, I'm willing to guess that most cultures on this planet have grilled chicken gizzards on a skewer.

The average contemporary American has a pretty narrow appreciation for organ meats though. Pity.

Anyhow, if you can't find a nearby human who appreciates what some people on this planet would consider a special treat, just give them to someone who owns a dog or cat. Their pet will love it.
Happygoin September 2, 2022
I so agree with you about organ meats. I don’t know how our culture came to this, but Americans are just conditioned not to eat them from an early age.

It’s really is a pity, as gizzards, and many other offal choices are delicious.
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