These deliciously crispy fried chicken gizzards are a beloved staple of Southern cuisine. Simmered until wonderfully tender, then battered and fried to golden perfection, they are a treat for both chicken gizzard enthusiasts and first-time experimenters. Join me as we explore the secrets to making the perfect fried chicken gizzards.
What are Chicken Gizzards?
Chicken gizzards are essentially the stomachs of chickens. Since chickens lack teeth, they rely on a muscular stomach to grind up their food and aid digestion. These organ meats, such as gizzards, are not only high in protein but also rich in vitamins. They are an excellent source of iron while being low in fat.
How to Clean Chicken Gizzards
Properly cleaning chicken gizzards is crucial when preparing them for cooking. It is advised to trim off any excess connective tissue, sinew, or silverskin, as they can be chewy. Additionally, washing the gizzards will remove any debris inside. Most gizzards are partially cleaned when sold, so a quick rinse under the faucet may suffice.
If you happen to purchase whole gizzards that haven’t been cleaned, you will need to slice them open and remove any debris inside. Also, make sure to remove any thicker, yellow-tinted lining that might still be attached to the exterior. Essentially, if it doesn’t look appetizing, it needs to be trimmed off or washed.
How Do Chicken Gizzards Taste?
Gizzards have a tough, muscular texture that can be quite chewy. Their flavor is reminiscent of dark chicken meat, but with a slightly gamier taste. This unique flavor might require some getting used to for some individuals. Grilling or deep frying the gizzards are two excellent methods for introducing people to this lesser-known part of the chicken.
What Do You Need for Frying Gizzards?
To prepare fried chicken gizzards, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken gizzards
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, sage, and cayenne pepper
- Frying oil: Canola oil or peanut oil are recommended, but any vegetable oil will work.
How to Make Gizzards Tender
While you can fry chicken gizzards without any prior preparation, simmering them in liquid for about an hour will significantly improve their tenderness. There’s no need for a rolling boil; simply simmer them at a low temperature in a pot or large saucepan. You can use water or chicken broth for added flavor. Some even add bay leaves to the simmering liquid. After simmering, let the gizzards cool in the refrigerator.
Tip: The longer you simmer, the more tender they become.
How to Make Fried Chicken Gizzards
For this recipe, a traditional home deep fryer works well. For a more classic touch, I recommend using a cast-iron chicken fryer. The key is to have a cooking vessel with deep enough walls to hold a few inches of hot oil for frying.
My fried gizzard recipe deviates slightly from the norm. Rather than a simple flour coating, I prefer a proper dredge that includes a dunk in beaten eggs. This thickens up the breading, resulting in an exceptionally crisp and flavorful coating. It’s the same style of breading you would find on traditional fried chicken.
To bread the chicken gizzards, start by combining flour with the seasonings. In a separate dish, beat together the eggs and milk. Begin by tossing the gizzards in the milk, then drain them and add them to the flour mixture. Work in batches as needed.
Once fully coated in flour, place the gizzards in the egg mixture. As you remove them from the eggs, let the excess drain off before adding them back to the flour mixture for a final coating. This double coating of flour is the secret to achieving an exceptionally crisp exterior.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry the breaded chicken gizzards until the breading turns golden brown. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
What Dipping Sauce Goes with Fried Chicken Gizzards?
The best dipping sauce for fried chicken gizzards is entirely up to your personal preference! However, if you’re unsure where to start, consider trying one of these suggestions:
- Ranch dressing
- Hot sauce
- Comeback sauce
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