“Oh mom, they are not.”
“I bet they are.”
“Well, just try one.”
How do you acquire gizzards in this modern, advanced age of techno-farm and industrial-food? Well, you grow them yourself, and then extract them.
“What in the world is that contraption, you country-hick beer guzzler?” I’ll explain that when I get there.
We already had lots of egg chickens, pets mostly, but had never raised chickens for meat. I needed the skill in a post SHTF scenario, because we like chicken, besides I had done my research on what is in chicken at the store. I wanted heritage breeds, which the females would be excellent for eggs and the roosters would grow slower than modern meat birds, because I did not want to have a “chicken crop” that I would have to harvest in a short time and all at once. On March 18th we got heritage chicks and ducklings: 10 Black Australorps, large meat birds that are prolific layers; 8 Cuckoo Marans, chocolate brown eggs and excellent meat; 3 Wellsummer, darkest eggs; 10 Khaki Campbell ducklings, up to 350 eggs a year and excellent meat; and one for free, a buff Silkie Bantam who will go broody at the drop of a hat and will adopt any baby and fiercely defend them.
Everyone grew and thrived on their freedom to eat grass…, drink and swim in the irrigation ditches and caused us to cringe on the price of organic, no soy, no GMO corn chicken feed.
Unfortunately, with all the freedom, they took over our covered porch when it rained, and it rained a lot this summer. All of the poop everywhere grew into my looking at my knife sharpener more often. We didn’t even mind the incessant crowing, because let’s face it, we are transplanted city folk. (I was informed by a visiting friend’s child who had a strong Texas accent that he thinks it funny that “country people” like us pronounce words like “which and where” instead of how “city people” pronounce them, “witch and wear.”) 🙂
So what was the last straw? Too many roosters and too many drakes. It had turned into a real “Chicken Ranch” (I’m not going to give you a link for that) with the men certainly not paying for the ladies services, and just forcing them to accept their “love.” My goodness, roosters on ducks, drakes on hens, drakes on roosters, roosters on drakes. Ugh!
But what was I to do with no killing cone? Ingenuity born of desperation turned a Coors box into a contraption that could hold their wings still and not allowing them to panic, while our dd held their feet and I process them by the Halal method. “Oh my, how in the world can you be so cruel to kill your birds?” I could ask the same question to those non-vegetarians who don’t. Read Fast Food Nation if you really want to know.
Are you wondering yet if the gizzards were gross? Here is what a warm gizzard looks like.
Here is a gizzard cut open, revealing tiny pebbles and grass.
The strong membrane pulls clean off, leaving just the deep red gizzard meat.
Clean them all well and look for a gizzard recipe on the internet. Oh man, I stink at frying things, but such rave reviews! I do have a coveted jar of duck fat.
You must season and simmer the gizzards for an hour at least before you fry them. I used salt, garlic, cayenne, and the juice from some very flavorful pickles I had made with peppers, mustard… After an hour I made a coating with coconut flour, coconut, salt, cayenne, and a meat rub.
Place the gizzards in the flour mixture, then dip in beaten egg and dredge in flour mixture and fry in lovely duck fat, or coconut oil, or lard.
So were they gross? Well, I am disappointed I sacrificed my jar of duck fat for that. The meat tasted good, the coating did not, and they were a bit tough. Next time I will do a slow cook in a rich sauce.
Here are our first chickens we had 11 years ago.
My only comment about gizzards (as someone who is only now about to raise a small flock but who has always cherished the flavor of a well raised hen, cockerel or capon) is that, SLOWLY simmered for 2 hrs or more (then browned in butter or fat,or not, depending on one’s use), the gizzard is one of the most flavorful parts of the bird. Slice into a marinara, cacciatore, salad, or ragout…yum. Or whole, after a gentle (no boil) cook, they’re just scrumptious.
Dear David, It is so kind of you to encourage another try at gizzards. Many of my friends rave over them, and I have since given them up. I will definitely try your method next time I get my hands on some. 🙂
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What a wonderful story!!
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