Gizzards Recipe for Southern Fryup

You can never have too many gizzards around you, as the saying goes. "

Chicken gizzards, which are sold more frequently than duck gizzards, are dirt cheap and totally delicious. Roscoe's, a California-based chicken-and-waffle restaurant chain, is where I was first exposed to the glory that is Southern-style fried chicken gizzards. Roscoe's is a sophisticated hangout. Waffles and everything else on the menu come with complimentary whipped butter, and you'll never have to worry about running out. They serve grits with pats of butter on top and a platter of gizzards that have been deep-fried until the batter is thin and crisp.

I don't know how we devolved to a point in culinary history where "fried" automatically connotes "unhealthy" or "low-class." Perhaps this is because of the widespread use of fats and oils by fast food restaurants as their sole cooking medium, or because of the views of the medical community regarding the carcinogenic effects of high and dry heat. Consider, though, that some words will inherently carry positive or negative connotations regardless of our intentions when we use them, even if we are not evaluating anything in particular.

We get hungry when we see "grilled," "seared," and "poached" on restaurant menus because those words sound delicious. By contrast, "fried" is used much less often. Health-conscious customers may avoid fried foods because they fear for their weight, but they often don't realize that most restaurants keep a deep-fryer running at all times. Fast frying is so efficient that it may have been used at some point in the preparation of dishes labeled as slow-cooked or braised. Oils and fats heated above the boiling point of water speed up the cooking process while adding flavor and texture by browning and crisping the food.

Some foods have managed to avoid the negative connotations of frying, and these are interesting to observe. Even though tempura and calamari are both deep-fried, they are not generally considered to be unhealthy. However, fried chicken is typically considered a fast food or, at best, a guilty pleasure. This is a shame, especially in light of the widespread availability of flavorless and dry breast meat. Perfect fried chicken has a crackling, crispy exterior and a juicy, tender interior. When I deep fry a chicken, I save the gizzards for myself while offering the breast and dark meat to my friends who are more concerned with their waistlines. Once the meal is prepared, the chef is rewarded with gizzards, which are a nubby, chewy treat with a slightly wild flavor.

There are two types of people who enjoy fried gizzards. Those who prefer their food tender enough to cut with a fork fall into the first category; these diners favor gizzards that have been slow-cooked in sauce for several hours before being deep-fried. The second group consists of "masticators," people who prefer their food to have more of a chew to it. These gizzards, which tend to be chewier than others, are prepared without stewing, but rather by brining in buttermilk, which softens the muscle's sinewy composition.

It's hard for me to decide which side I support. One surefire method of ensuring an exceptionally tender meaty interior is to stew the gizzards for an extended period of time; the cooking process also yields a flavorful chicken stock as a significant by-product. Raw gizzards that have been marinated in buttermilk are a favorite of mine because they are chewier and have a slightly gamey flavor that appeals to my offal-loving palate. Buttermilk's acidity infuses the gizzards with a pleasant tanginess that remains even after frying. Because I can never make up my mind, I usually prepare these Southern fried gizzards in two different ways. You can never have too many gizzards around you, so this works out just fine.

A Marinade:

  • 1 pound stomach linings from chickens

  • 1 small onion that has been chopped very roughly

  • Approximately  1 1/2 cups buttermilk

When Deep-Frying:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts oil

  • 1 cup Universal Flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt ........., or according to preference

  • 1 teaspoon Hot peppers, or Cayenne an expression of preference

  • 1 large egg , beaten

In the Stew:

  • 1 pound intestines of a chicken

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 small onion , halved

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Various herbs, including those you prefer thyme And the majoram

To Prepare Stewed Gizzards for Frying:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts oil

  • 1 cup universal flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt to suit one's palate

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes in accordance with personal preference

  • 1 large egg , beaten

  1. Arrange the gizzards and onions in a bowl, and then top off the bowl with buttermilk to completely cover the contents. Put the gizzards in the fridge for at least 8 hours, and preferably 24 hours. Buttermilk will be preserved in the gizzards for up to 48 hours.

  2. Prepare the gizzards for frying by removing them from the buttermilk and letting them drain in a colander. Having the excess buttermilk removed is sufficient; they need not be bone-dry. Slice the gizzards into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces, avoiding the sinew and discarding it.

  3. Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and other seasonings with the flour. Make sure the egg is beaten and ready to go.

  4. Frying instructions: Prepare oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When you're ready to fry the gizzards, first coat them in egg, then dredge them in flour. If the gizzards aren't properly coated, the batter won't be crispy.

  5. Fry the gizzards for 2–3 minutes in hot oil, or until they reach a golden brown and crisp texture. Extra oil should be drained over a rack. Quickly dish up with grits and collard greens for a true taste of the South.

  6. Put the gizzards in a pot with the aromatics and vegetables like garlic, onion, and carrots. Toss in enough water to cover, then set the pot to boil. To achieve fork tenderness, simmer for 40-60 minutes. Set aside to cool; save the gizzard stock for later.

  7. Work around any tough sinews and cut the gizzards into 1/2-inch cubes.

  8. Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and other seasonings with the flour. Get the egg ready to be beaten.

  9. Prepare the oil for frying by bringing it to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When you're ready to fry the gizzards, dunk them in the egg and then coat them thoroughly in flour. Coating the gizzards thoroughly is necessary for a crisp batter.

  10. Fry the gizzards for 1–2 minutes in hot oil, until they are golden and crisp. Excess oil should be drained over a rack. Serve immediately with grits and collards for the authentic taste of the South.

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