Chicken Gizzard Recipe

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This chicken gizzard recipe is shared with you straight from my mother’s kitchen in Israel. It’s a dish that we grew up eating, a delicious meal made with a not so common, yet precious ingredient!


For some reason, organ meat isn’t a very popular ingredient in American cuisine. Here in the South, I can sometimes find a restaurant that will serve chicken livers (which are delicious), but that’s pretty much it. I don’t know at what point in history organ meat disappeared from the menu… I’m pretty sure that back in the day when most people raised their meat, inner parts were just as important as the rest of the meat.

You see, when you go through the process of raising chickens for meat production or raising ducks, or hunting… When you go through the process of butchering a chicken, or a turkey, a duck, a deer, a cow, a pig, or any other animal, you know, your body knows, how much work needed to be done. Wasting a perfectly good piece of meat is just not right, it’s disrespectful. As a homesteader, your mind works extra time to try and figure out how to use it all.

Delicious Chicken Gizzard Recipe…

chicken gizzard recipe

I guess that since most people aren’t raising their own meat these days, we might have lost some of this respect and, if you ask me, we lost some delicious food as well (not to mention healthy food!). But, organ meat, gizzards, for example, are still very popular in other countries!

So this delicious gizzard recipe comes to you right from my mother’s kitchen in Israel, where animal parts like heart, tongue, brain, and so on are still popular ingredients just like the breast or a thigh. I sure hope that I can capture all those delicious recipes, one at a time, and share them with you. We’ll start with gizzards!

chicken anatomy

What Are Chicken Gizzards?

The gizzard is a part of the chicken’s digestive system (“the third stomach”). Since chickens don’t have teeth, they need another way to break down their food so it’s easier to digest, that’s what the gizzard does. It’s a small muscle surrounding a sack of tiny rocks, once the food arrives at the gizzard, the muscle contracts, and the rocks grind the food into small, easier-to-digest pieces.

Where to Get Gizzards…

If you are a homesteader who raises their own chickens for meat, you’ll see the gizzard (it looks like a ball of muscle surrounded by silver skin) when you pull the organs out of your chicken. You can separate it from the digestive system, clean it (more on this below), and set it aside. Depending on how many chickens you butcher at once, you might not have enough gizzards for a whole dish. No worries! Gizzards freeze very well so after cleaning, simply place them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer until you have enough of them.

If you don’t raise your own chickens for meat, you might be able to find gizzards at a local grocery store or at the butcher. Here in the country, we don’t have gizzards available in the local grocery stores, however, we have a couple of butchers around that will save the gizzards for you if you ask them to. If you live around an international food store they might also be available there.

Cleaning Chicken Gizzards…

If you purchased gizzards from the store or from a butcher they are probably already clean. You might need to rinse them and trim a little more connective tissue or silver skin but probably not much. If you are getting gizzards from your own birds, you are going to have to learn how to clean the gizzards. This is a pretty simple task…

  1. Remove the gizzard from the digestive system.
  2. Remove the fat around the gizzard.
  3. Refrigerate the gizzard for a few hours (it’s easier to cut it if the meat is cold).
  4. Cut one side of the muscle all the way to the sack inside (go slow and be careful not to damage and open the sack).
  5. With your hands, open the muscle and remove the sack.
  6. Discard the sack of rocks, the muscle is what we are after. Use your knife to scrape it and clean it.

This video shows how to clean gizzards pretty well. Remember that you can place the meat in a bag and freeze it until you have enough for a dish. However you got your hands on some gizzards, the question is, how the heck do you cook this tough muscle now? How do you turn it into a delicious and healthy dish? Well, here is my mother’s favorite way of doing this…

Ingredients…

  • Gizzards – clean and ready to go. We are going to need about one kilo which is 2.2 pounds.
  • Bay leaves – 3 bay leaves or so.
  • Garlic five cloves.
  • Seasonings – paprika, powdered chicken bullion, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, and salt.
  • Boiling water – about a cup and a half.
  • Peppers – sweet or spicy, dry or fresh, it’s your choice. We used two dry sweet peppers and one dry spicy pepper.
tenderizing chicken gizzards

Tenderizing Chicken Gizzards…

Since the gizzard is a muscle, it is pretty tough. So before you do pretty much anything with it, this recipe or another, take the time to tenderize it.

  • Fill a pot with water and add 3 bay leaves (they add just a little bit of deliciousness to the meat).
  • Add the gizzards.
  • Set the pot on the stovetop and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Boil the gizzards for 1-1:30 hours until they are tender.
  • Set a colander over a large bowl and transfer the gizzards into the colander. Let cool.
  • Remember that you can use the chicken-infused water now! And if you don’t want to use it in cooking something else, give it to your dog to drink.

How to Cook Chicken Gizzards…

Step one – prep the gizzards. Once the gizzards have cooled a bit after tenderizing them, transfer them onto a cutting board and cut them into smaller pieces. Also, peel and dice the garlic cloves.

Step two – fry the seasonings. To a deep pan, add the oil and the garlic (don’t wait for the oil to get hot, add the garlic right after you add the oil to the pan), add the paprika, powdered chicken bullion, cumin, black pepper, and turmeric. Stir and fry the seasonings on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, then add the peppers.

Step three – add the gizzards. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water and stir, then add the gizzards and stir them to coat with the sauce. Salt, cover the pot, and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat.

Step four – cook the gizzards. After 20 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as desired, then cook for 10 more minutes before removing the pot from the heat.

What to Serve With Gizzards…

This chicken gizzard recipe is a delicious, filling, and healthy main dish. There are many serving options for side dishes! Here are a few ideas…

  • Rice – just simple white rice or you can do whole grain rice, wild rice, or any other. Add some of the sauce on top of the rice or serve the gizzards and the sauce right on the rice.
  • Bulgur – this type of wheat is just as easy to cook as rice is and it’s healthy and tasty. Here is how to cook bulgur wheat.
  • Quinoa – another healthy option!
  • Couscous – no no no, I don’t mean Israeli pearled pasta, I honestly don’t understand why they call it couscous in the US, we don’t call it that in Israel. Couscous is made of durum wheat and semolina and is a delicious and very easy-to-make side dish that you can serve next to many meat dishes. This site explains it well.
  • Mashed potatoes – this chicken gizzard dish works very well served over simple mashed potatoes.
  • Salad – of course, make sure not to forget the salad! Try serving it with Israeli beetroot salad, red cabbage salad, a simple mixed vegetable Israeli salad, or these garlicky green beans.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Can I freeze this dish?

Absolutely! Simply transfer the dish into a freezer-safe container and freeze. When you want to serve it, let it thaw at room temperature, transfer it to a pan, and heat it over medium heat on the stovetop.

Can I add other kinds of meat to this dish?

You should be able to. Maybe precooked slices of red meat or cubed steak, or you can try chicken breast. Dice it and add it after you add the seasonings, let it cook for a little bit, and then add the boiling water and gizzards.

Can I add vegetables to this dish?

Root vegetables like carrots or beets might work well. Peel and dice the vegetables and fry them with the seasonings before you add the gizzards.


This dish is simple, delicious, and healthy. I wish gizzards were a bit more popular in the US so it was easier to get them at the store. I can’t really get them where I live so this dish is a special treat when I go to visit my family in Israel. If you do happen to get your hands on a couple of pounds of gizzards, I hope you’ll give this dish a try!

More Delicious Recipes…

Chicken Gizzard Recipe

Chicken Gizzard Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Delicious and tender chicken gizzard in a simple red sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2.2 pounds of clean chicken gizzards
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (olive, canola, vegetables... It doesn't really matter)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered chicken bullion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 dry sweet peppers
  • 1 dry spicy pepper
  • 1.5 cups of boiling water

Instructions

  1. Step one - Tenderize the gizzards...
    Fill a pot with water and add 3 bay leaves (they add just a little bit of deliciousness to the meat).
    Add the gizzards. Set the pot on the stovetop and bring the water to a rolling boil.
    Boil the gizzards for 1-1:30 hours until they are tender.
    Set a colander over a large bowl or over the sink and transfer the gizzards into the colander.
  2. Step two - Once the gizzards cooled a bit after tenderizing them, transfer them onto a cutting board and cut them into smaller pieces. Also, peel and dice the garlic cloves.
  3. Step three - To a deep pan, add the oil and the garlic (don’t wait for the oil to get hot, add the garlic right after you add the oil to the pan), add the paprika, powdered chicken bullion, cumin, black pepper, and turmeric. Stir and fry the seasonings on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, then add the peppers.
  4. Step four - Add 1.5 cups of boiling water and stir, then add the gizzards and stir them to coat with the sauce. Salt, cover the pan, and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Step five - After 20 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings, then cook for 10 more minutes before removing the pot from the heat.

Notes

Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. What to serve with this dish?
    Rice, bulgur, quinoa, couscous, mashed potatoes, and any salad. These are just a few ideas, more information in the post above.
  2. Can I freeze this dish?
    Absolutely! Simply transfer the dish into a freezer-safe container and freeze. When you want to serve it, let it thaw at room temperature, transfer it to a pan, and heat it over medium heat on the stovetop.
  3. Can I add other kinds of meat to this dish?
    You should be able to. Maybe precooked slices of red meat or cubed steak, or you can try chicken breast. Dice it and add it after you add the seasonings, let it cook for a little bit, and then add the boiling water and gizzards.
  4. Can I add vegetables to this dish?
    Root vegetables like carrots or beets might work well. Peel and dice the vegetables and fry them with the seasonings before you add the gizzards.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 462mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 39g

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2 thoughts on “Chicken Gizzard Recipe”

  1. The recipe was great! I have always liked gizzards, but only had them fried. This will be my go to recipe goinf forward. I served mine with rice.

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