Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chicken Hearts - pictures may be disturbing to some viewers, but OH SO tasty!


We are enjoying our holiday break by spending time with Mark's family in Newport on the beautiful central coast of Oregon.  The ocean view from their sprawling windows is mesmerizing, as we look out in hopes of seeing a whale making it's trek south.  The day was taking a normal course but suddenly became more intriguing when Mark's father asked me if I liked chicken hearts.  My instinctual reaction was to say "no", but after I thought about it for a moment, I changed my answer to "I don't know".  I may have tried chicken innards at some point in my life (definitely a liver or two), but I was young, and most certainly more squeamish then I am now.  

I was excited to try something new!  And in hopes that my son would too.  I decided this was a must to blog about, although I know I will have some naysayers in regards to this dish.  Completely understandable.  For those of you interested in the science aspect, like myself, I wanted to start with a bit of chicken heart info.  Structurally, the chicken heart is very similar to the human heart with 4 chambers.  However, as with most small hearts, it beats much faster, as much as 400 beats /minute.  On the nutritional aspect, chicken hearts are basically good for you, except for one main factor - they are VERY high in cholesterol.  Otherwise, they are a good source of folate, protein, riboflavin, B12, iron, and zinc, as well as low in sodium.  Not too bad, I thought. 



What's the best way to cook chicken hearts?  As I investigated the internet, I found several ways people cook up these gems, by braising them, frying them, and even cooking them up in a pasta sauce with wine!  As for today, Leo (Mark's dad), was going to whip up his tried and true recipe for scrumptious chicken hearts. 



He began by melting butter in a small saute skillet and adding a couple of crushed garlic cloves.  Next, Leo placed all of those beautifully structured chicken hearts in the pan to cook down in the butter and garlic mixture.  After sprinkling with a little garlic salt, he let them sit until most of the liquid was absorbed.  My fascination grew as I watched him cook up these dark meat morsels.  About 15 more minutes passed as they browned up every so slightly and then we had our bit-size wonders.  I was truly surprised with how much I enjoyed them!  I suppose I was expecting a liver sort of flavor, or something more gamey, but they honestly tasted like the dark meat of the chicken, but just slightly more intense.  I love dark meat, and braised in the butter and garlic, these were scrumptious. 


So the big question - did Ryan try any?  As you can see by the picture, he did.  What you can't see by the picture is that he basically ate the whole bowl himself.  Yes, it was a success!

Leo's Famous Chicken Hearts


2 TBL butter
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 lb chicken hearts
1/4 tsp garlic salt


In a small saute skillet, melt butter and add the 2 crushed cloves of garlic.  While the butter is melting, rinse and drain the chicken hearts.  Add the chicken hearts to the pan and bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Cover and cook until much of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Once most of the liquid is absorbed, continue cooking on low for about 15 min.  Remove from pan and serve!  Sprinkle with salt as desired.

40 comments:

  1. I've never seen a package of chicken hearts before. Did he order them especially from the butcher, or did they come like that?

    Lisa

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    1. try publix thats where i got a package of fresh hearts

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    2. They can be found at nearly any grocery store . Lmfao

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    3. They can be found at nearly any grocery store . Lmfao

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  2. They did come like that - straight from the grocery store - Fred Meyer! Maybe a generic packaging, I'm not sure, so I'll do some looking too when I get home. I think I have seen them at the asian market, but not sure about Vons/Safeway.

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  3. They sell them like that at Albertson's too and they're super inexpensive:)

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  4. Good to know - Albertson's carries them too! Thanks.

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  5. When I was a kid my dad used to make lamb hearts. It's one of my favorite dishes!

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  6. Hi Jenny! I wonder if they taste any different than chicken hearts? I love lamb :)

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  7. i was googling looking for new chicken hearts recipes, i will definitely try this one.. i normally cook them for breakfast...my boyfriend does not like inside meat but boy did he enjoy when i cooked them for him 4 the 1st time.. i was nice warm meal for those cold winter morning as i made them with gravy

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  8. im from Uruguay, we make chicken heart stew (guiso) and it is delicious. I have a package of chicken hearts in my freezer for those cold winter days here in ny. I'm a picky eater and I love them!

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  9. Honey garlic chicken hearts are really good, too! Just add honey to taste. :)

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  10. Hey Jen! I love the name of your blog! I imagine most people don't understand the true significance of licking a plate and many people would be a bit worried about licking a plate infront of others. However, for me, licking a plate is the highest sign of culinary enjoyment. Granted, if you have a bread handy, you could clean the plate that way. The problem of course is if you are over-full from over-enjoying the meal and can't imagine putting another piece of food in your stomach. That way, licking the plate actually is lower in calories:-) I stumbled across your blog looking for recipes for chicken hearts. Actually, I don't really like them. Why not? The texture and appearance for the most part. However, I just read that they are high in Co-Enzyme Q10 that serves as a natural alternative for blood pressure medication amongst many other things. So... Nice "meeting" you.

    Ross

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    1. haha! same reason I clicked on ;-)

      Leah

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    2. I grew up on chicken heart soup and continue to make it. Never tried eating them other ways but will now...got a pound in my freezer right now! They're always available at my local farmers market. One thing though: I always cut ofg the fatty part with ventricle before using...this likely cuts down on the cholesterol consumption and makes the hearts more visually appealing to eat. ��

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    3. Oh - those trimmings of fat and ventricles - I cook them for my dogs as a treat. They are a hit!!

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    4. Oh - those trimmings of fat and ventricles - I cook them for my dogs as a treat. They are a hit!!

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  11. I dissected one of these in science. They smelled awful, but they were only boiled and much less appetizing than these ones lol.

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  12. HI there! I just bought a little package of chicken hearts to try for lunch. I made them into butter chicken and they are very yummy! I am wondering if you butcher or prepare them at all before cooking. I basically rinsed them off and tossed them in the melted butter, but after they were cooked the little valves were sticking out of the top!It kinda made me have second thoughts.... ha ha....but I just cut them off and started eating. Yum! Next time though, I might try trimming the valve and sort of fatty bit off of the top.

    I trimmed and cut the leftovers into smaller pieces and mixed with leftover rice and sauce... I will send them in my husband's lunch tomorrow and see what he thinks. :)

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  13. Hi there!I'm from Brazil and chicken heart is a very (and delicious)common dish here. If you wish I can share some great recipes! *great pics ;)

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    1. Would you please?!
      If not here, please inbox me at leahjet @ hot mail.com

      I'd love some spicy recipes for the little hearts!!!

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    2. He's plz I would reAly apretiate that a lot I'm Canadian my email is 09131987clayton@Gmail.come. I have recipes to. Hopefully we could swap

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    3. He's plz I would reAly apretiate that a lot I'm Canadian my email is 09131987clayton@Gmail.come. I have recipes to. Hopefully we could swap

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  14. I recently bought a 5 lbs box of chicken hearts for $2.45 (.49/lbs)at my local grocer. The check out lady ask if I was going fishing. She thought I was going to use the chicken hearts as bait.

    Tonight, I cooked half of the hearts by sauteing them in butter and garlic. The hearts produced a lot more liquid than I expected so I didn't get a good brown on them, but the taste was pretty good. I will try again and do better next time.

    I will likely grill the remaining hearts.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe and information.

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  15. I am using chicken hearts and gizzards to make sofritto. Clean hearts and gizzards, cut in small pieces . Boil gizzards before cutting. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add your tomato sauce, green pepper diced. season with crushed red hot pepper or add a fresh hot pepper to sauce. Serve on a hard roll like a sloppy Joe. Italian Style

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  16. Wow!Wonderful blog u have I am frm south africa try your frying heart,it ws absolute delicious my baby n hubby love it so did I.Next time when I am going to fry it need I am gonna add lemon juice when its fried,pour lemon n herb sauce.

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  17. Awesome blog! I pickup a package of Chicken Hearts mixed with Gizzard's and have learned to let them marinade in buttermilk overnight. This breaks them down so their tender (just like boiling before frying) but adds flavor... Dry in a colander, cut off any extra sinew. Then beat an egg and mix the flour, salt and cayenne powder. Heat oil to 350* , dip each gizzard and heart in egg then dredge in the flour mix. Coat them very well or they wont be crispy. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown and crisp, set on rack to drain excess oil. -Enjoy!!

    1 Pound Gizzards and Hearts
    1 1/2 cups of Buttermilk
    1 egg beaten
    Oil for frying
    1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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    1. The best place to buy chicken hearts is a large Asian grocery , in the meat section, they sell chicken feet too. I did not find the feet very useful or appealing. A tip for tenderizing the chicken hearts, boil with a couple of bags of Indian chai tea for 20-30 minutes. The tannin in the tea softens them well.

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  18. Chicken feet make absolutely badass broth. The kind of broth that will hold the spoon up by itself after it's refrigerated. The next time you make chicken soup, boil a bunch of feet in with the chicken. You won't believe the body and strength your broth will have. It's also great for your hair and nails-chicken feet are very high in collagen.

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  19. Wow ~ Thank you so much! I have been raising and harvesting our chickens for the past 3 years; always saving the liver, heart, gizzards & feet. I work so hard for this incredible, organic chicken that I can't bear to waste any. Lots of friends are willing to take the liver, I make healthful gelatinous stock from the feet, but the hearts & gizzards have been piling up in the freezer. I just followed your father-in-laws ultra simple recipe for the hearts and I am smitten! I ate them right out of the pan on a toothpick like your son. YUM! They have more of a sausage consistency than an organ texture. I think if you sliced them up in a dish - no one would know. Shhhhh - don't tell my husband! Does Leo have an equally good gizzard recipe????

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  20. Hi, I've been eating baked chicken hearts for years. They are very tasty! But people...why use garlic SALT? Garlic salt is mostly salt! Use garlic powder AND sea salt but not garlic Salt.

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    1. Hi, I think your idea of baked chicken hearts sounds really great~ Please post the recipe for your baked hearts as I have never tried them that way~ I also agree with garlic powder over garlic salt. Thank you so much and it would be very much appreciated. Happy cooking~~

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  21. Tried your recipe and it turned out great very good meal. Thanks for sharing

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  22. looking forward to trying this recipe. it's been a while since I had them and then it was a totally improvised/ stone soup approach!

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  23. My dad used to simmer and chicken hearts, livers and gizzards. Just add salt and pepper; nothing fancy about it. I usually drank the broth, separately. A package of all hearts was a special treat for my sister and me. Nothing disturbed us! Fried chicken liver was a staple. As an adult my Mexican wife taught me the value of chicken feet (we raised the birds) for out of this world stock. Thanks to immigrant demand, I am starting to find tasty and economic chicken parts in stores, after a too long absence. I suppose we still export most of them...

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  24. My late hubby told me they served chicken feet (no popcorn) in movie theaters when he was stationed in Japan during the Vietnam war.

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  25. My busband just loves chicken hearts I fry them with butter, salt and peppe

    You can also make them in a red sauce and serve over pasta

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  26. I got some fresh hearts from my fave organic farmers yesterday and made this today. Oh so very delicious. I added some chopped parsley at the end. I was thinking some lemon juice might cut the richness - will try that the next time.

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  27. Make chicken hearts all the time I Cook 1 small package and split it with my chihuahua just in butter no oil, salt, or pepper I saute them with veggies and we have our meet and veggies together..

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  28. Pictures may be disturbing to some? Oh please, if someone is offend by chicken hearts they need to be offened and told to grow up.

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