I know what you’re thinking. ‘Gizzards?’ Yeah, gizzards. Through the years I’ve learned that some people don’t care for them because they are among the eight (or nine if you’re KFC) traditional chicken pieces, while others just can’t stand the texture.
I love them though, no matter how they’re sliced. (Or cooked.)
As a child, my father would fry chicken on Sundays. And if you’re old enough to remember 30-40 years ago, you’ll know that yardbird was only available whole. And the cavity was stuffed with the gizzard, liver and neck. The gizzard was my appetizer — to be eaten only in the kitchen away from my mother’s presence. Like some of you, she couldn’t even stand the sound of gizzard chewing. For me, this little pre-meal nosh made gizzards taste all that much better.
Did you know? Chickens, ducks and other birds aren’t the only ones with gizzards. Alligators and crocodiles also have one. So do some fish and crustaceans.
If you’re in the neighborhood of Potterville, Michigan next year in mid-June, you might want to consider attending Gizzard Fest, where you can hang out with Krispy the Chicken or participate in a gizzard eating contest. In the mean time, I’m offering up a recipe for all you lovers and haters of this poultry part. Feel free to reduce the heat. And, if you just can’t stomach (no pun intended) the thought of eating gizzards, just replace them with your favorite link sausage or chopped fried chicken strips.
Want to receive notifications of my Confessions, Chronicles and recipes in your email? Just click here. I’d also love for you to join me on Facebook (click the ‘like’ button), Pinterest and Google+. Why not witness some of my Instagram antics too?
Spicy Fried Rice w/ Crispy Gizzards
- 1 lb – Chicken gizzards, cleaned and rinsed
- About 2 cups – Milk
- 2 TB – Soy sauce
- 1 TB – Garlic powder
- 1 tsp – Dried Ginger
- ½ tsp – White pepper
- About 1 cup – All-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 cups – Cooked rice (cold leftover rice is fine)
- 1 – Egg, beaten (for frying the gizzards)
- 2 – Eggs beaten with 1 tsp – toasted sesame oil (to be added to rice)
- 3 – Garlic cloves, minced
- ½ inch nub – Ginger, minced
- 3 – Green onions, chopped
- 2 TB – Dry sherry
- 2 TB – Soy sauce
- 3 TB – Sambal Oelek
- ¼ cup – Cilantro, chopped
- Marinate gizzards in a covered container in milk for 4-6 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Drain milk. Add soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger and white pepper. Combine to coat.
- If you like some chew in your gizzards, skip the following (pressure/slow cooker) steps and forgo the egg bath before frying.
- In a programmable electric pressure cooker, cook on 'Chicken/Meat' setting and allow to cool completely; Or cook for 4-6 hours on the 'Low' setting in a slow cooker.
- Refrigerate cooked gizzards for an hour or so.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat about ½ inch of vegetable oil to medium-high. (The oil is ready when a pinch of flour sizzles immediately when added.)
- Dip gizzards, a few at a time, in the beaten egg; then dredge in flour.
- Fry until golden, about 5 minutes (or 8-9 minutes if you've not precooked them), then set aside on paper towel-lined plate.
- Discard all but 2-3 TB of the frying oil, or using a new skillet/wok, add 2-3 TB of the reserved frying oil and heat to medium-high.
- Add the minced ginger, then the garlic. Stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the chopped onions.
- Add the rice and raise the heat to high. Stir to combine ingredients, and continue stirring regularly until everything is warmed – about 4 minutes.
- Add sherry, soy sauce and Sambal Oelek. Mix to combine with rice.
- Add gizzards and stir fry for about 2 more minutes.
- Pour egg/sesame oil mixture over rice and stir well to combine (egg will cook almost instantly).
- Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.