Monday, December 17, 2012

Leapin Lizzards! It's Gizzards

When most people hear the word gizzard in relation to Southern cooking, they automatically think of Granny from the BEverly Hillbillies who often spoke of Crow Gizzards, Hawk Gizzards, etc. when she rattled off her daily menu for the family. The lowly gizzard is something I eschewed for most of my life. Up until 2 years ago, I had never eaten a gizzard. Now I've had livers, which I am not too fond of, maybe the texture or the organ meat twang, but never a gizzard.

I had seen an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, with Guy Fieri, about a place called Joe's Gizzard City. They were frying up gizzards by the bucket-full for their patrons who were putting them away. So I thought I would give them a try. After a little experimentation, I have come up with my own recipe. Now I will warn you GIZZARDS ARE CHEWY! I do not par-boil or pressure-cook my gizzards, but I do have a step that helps to tenderize them and mellow out their taste a little.

I am finding when I buy gizzards, it's usually Tyson, they come with hearts. The heart is a nice little less-chewy tidbit that is like a little bonus. I wash them thoroughly and look for any yellowish-green skin that pulls right off, this doesn't occur very often maybe 1 piece per pound if that many. Just peel it off and throw it away. I soak 1 pound of them in a cup or so of buttermilk, overnight in the fridge to ready them for action. I then drain and shake off the excess buttermilk, (I really give them a shaking in a sieve or strainer, you don't want them dripping), let them sit on a plate and dry for a bit to bring them up to nearly room temperature. I dust them in the flour mixture and pan fry them. Here's what you need...

Fried Chicken Gizzards
1 lb chicken gizzards with/without hearts
3 cups of flour
1 cup cornmeal (I like yellow)
3-4 tbs Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1-1½ cup buttermilk + 2 tbs salt added to buttermilk
enough oil for half inch in cast iron skillet.

First, soak the gizzards overnight in a zip-lock bag with buttermilk and salt. Remove from fridge and drain really well, DON'T RINSE, and lay out on plate to dry and come up to room temp.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Take gizzards and dredge them in flour mixture. toss them around with bag zip-locked making sure they are well coated. Leave them in bag and start your oil heating in skillet on MED/HI. When oil is really hot, (pinch off and test a small bit of coating from one of the gizzards) use a sieve or strainer to shake off excess flour mixture. One at a time ease the gizzards into the hot oil.

You might want to fry them in two batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet. Overcrowding lowers the oil temp and they do not fry as well. Cook until nice and brown on the outside, turning them as they cook. I like to put them on a rack and keep in a warm over for about 20 mins. I think this helps tenderize them. Get ready for some chewing, but it's good chewing!

Dipping Sauce
4 tbs mayo
4 tbs sour cream
1 tbs yellow mustard
1 tsp Tony Chachere's
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoky paprika (opt.)
1 tsp tabasco or Sambal Chili Sauce

Combine all ingredients and enjoy dipping your Gizzards. You might want to try my Jezebel Sauce Recipe with these as well. You can pressure cook your gizzards in water and spices, or par-boil them but I like them just fine like this. If you have a deep fryer, they will turn out great. Have fun making Gizzards, the good news is... THEY'RE CHEAP!!! Enjoy!


  1. The hearts are actually my hubbies favorite.

    Look good!

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