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Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions

Chicken Gizzards with onions

Forget everything you thought about chicken gizzards! This braised recipe transforms these affordable morsels into a flavorful and satisfying dish perfect for busy weeknights. Gizzards, sometimes confused with other giblets like livers and hearts, are a budget-friendly cut of dark meat chicken packed with nutrients. Though they play a part in the digestive tract by grinding food like tiny stones, gizzards can be incredibly delicious when cooked properly. Unlike other chicken cuts that thrive on high heat, gizzards require a low and slow approach with moist heat – this braised recipe is the perfect solution!

While cleaning and cooking gizzards might seem daunting at first, using a pressure cooker streamlines the process, resulting in incredibly tender meat. Served over fluffy rice or nutty farro, this dish is sure to become a new favorite. So ditch the chicken breast and explore the world of flavorful chicken gizzards with this easy and delicious recipe!

Demystifying the Gizzard: A Culinary Gem

The word “gizzard” might not conjure up the most appetizing image, but it holds a unique and valuable place in the culinary world. Gizzards are the muscular stomachs of various animals, including birds like chickens, reptiles, and even some fish. They act as nature’s built-in grinder, using powerful contractions and often tiny stones ingested by the animal to break down food that lacks teeth or other grinding mechanisms.

Beyond their functional role, gizzards offer a surprising culinary advantage: affordability. Often overlooked, they are a budget-friendly protein source packed with nutrients like protein, iron, and essential vitamins. Plus, their versatility shines through various cooking methods, from braising to frying, making them a true hidden gem in the kitchen.

A Global Gizzard Journey: From Soups to Snacks

Gizzards transcend borders, offering a taste of global culinary traditions. In the Southern US, they simmer in rich gumbo or hearty stews. Mexican street vendors tempt you with crispy fried gizzards, a satisfying snack. African cuisine features them grilled or stewed, often paired with rice or vibrant vegetables. Even Europe embraces gizzards, incorporating them into salads and savory pâtés. This global embrace highlights their versatility and delicious potential, waiting to be explored in your kitchen. So, the next time you encounter gizzards, remember, they’re not just an overlooked cut, but a culinary passport to diverse flavors and cultures.

Gizzards: Beyond the “Special Occasion” Label

Gizzards often find themselves categorized as “special occasion” food, sometimes presented as a source of hidden nutrients for reluctant eaters. It’s a familiar experience – pizza on Fridays, soup on Saturdays – but when was the last time you saw gizzards gracing a Tuesday dinner table?

While some might shy away from preparing them at home, gizzards are a prominent street food in many countries, particularly in the Caribbean and several Asian countries. This flavorful dark meat shines in various offerings, often fried alongside onions, peppers, and a side like fries or plantains for a complete, satisfying meal.

So, rather than viewing them solely as a special occasion treat, consider gizzards as a delicious and readily available ingredient waiting to be explored and enjoyed any day of the week.

Conquering the Clean: A Guide to Gizzards

While tackling chicken gizzards might seem intimidating, the cleaning process is surprisingly straightforward. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Peel Away the Yellowish Layer: Locate the yellowish inner sac – it should detach easily with a paring knife. Discard this layer.
  2. Wash Thoroughly: Rinse the gizzards under running water. To add an extra layer of cleaning, consider a brief soak in lemon or vinegar water.
  3. Embrace Culinary Creation: With your gizzards clean and prepped, get ready to embark on your delicious culinary journey!
Chicken Gizzards
Chicken Gizzards

Chicken gizzards are undeniably budget-friendly

Typically (in some places), you can find a 2-pound gizzard platter for less than $5, making them a cost-effective protein source. This affordability extends their reach, making them a common ingredient in various global cuisines. From simmered stews and vibrant street food to grilled skewers and savory appetizers, gizzards offer delicious versatility without breaking the bank.

Gizzards: A Nutritional Powerhouse Beyond the Plate

Often overlooked, chicken gizzards pack a surprising punch of nutrition. They’re delicious and a budget-friendly source of essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s why you might want to consider adding them to your culinary repertoire:

  • Nutrient Powerhouse: Gizzards are an excellent source of selenium, vital for cell health and immunity. They also boast high levels of vitamin B12, crucial for energy production and brain function. Additionally, they’re rich in zinc, supporting a healthy immune system, and iron, essential for red blood cell production.
  • Protein Packed: With a high protein content, gizzards help you feel fuller for longer, potentially aiding in weight management efforts.

So, the next time you’re looking for a nutritious and affordable protein option, don’t shy away from gizzards. Explore their culinary potential and discover a delicious way to boost your dietary intake!

Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions: Ingredient Spotlight

This dish features a unique combination of flavors and textures. Let’s delve into the key ingredients:

  • Chicken Gizzards: These powerhouses of protein and iron are the stars of the show. Remember, proper cleaning is crucial before using them in your recipe.
  • Garlic, Parsley, Sage, and Cumin: This aromatic quartet adds depth and complexity to the braising liquid.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Citrus Juice: Their tangy notes cut through the richness of the gizzards and balance the overall flavor profile.
  • Tomato Paste: This concentrated ingredient provides a rich, umami base to the sauce.
  • White Onion: Sliced onions add sweetness and a subtle bite, complementing the savory flavors.

Remember to adjust salt and pepper to your taste, and feel free to add a touch of heat with red pepper flakes (optional).

Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to transform these affordable gizzards into a flavorful weeknight meal? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Marinate the Gizzards: Infuse the gizzards with a symphony of flavors by marinating them in a mixture of garlic, parsley, your chosen spices, and vinegar for 30 minutes.
  2. Pressure Cook for Tenderness: Achieve perfectly tender gizzards by pressure cooking them for 25 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
  3. Brown and Caramelize: Heat olive oil in a skillet and brown the cooked gizzards with tomato paste, adding depth and richness to the final dish.
  4. Sauté the Onions: Introduce a touch of sweetness and caramelized goodness by adding sliced onions and cooking them for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Simmer and Season: Pour in the flavorful cooking liquid from the pressure cooker, adding more water if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season generously with salt, pepper, and a touch of hot pepper flakes for an optional kick. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
  6. Serve and Savor: Plate your delicious braised chicken gizzards alongside fluffy rice and a refreshing salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions: Helpful Hints & Variations

Freshness is Key: Opt for fresh gizzards whenever possible, as they cook up significantly more tender than older ones.

Cleaning Counts: Meticulous cleaning is crucial. Remove the yellow lining and any excess fat to ensure a pleasant eating experience.

Tenderizing Tip: Soaking the gizzards in milk or buttermilk for 30 minutes before cooking is an optional step to enhance tenderness.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Low and slow cooking methods are your friend! This prevents the gizzards from becoming tough and chewy.

Pressure Cooker Power: Utilize a pressure cooker for faster and more even cooking, saving you valuable time in the kitchen.

Vinegar’s Magic Touch: Adding a splash of vinegar to the cooking liquid works wonders. It helps break down connective tissue, contributing to a delightfully tender result.

Spice it Up: Don’t be shy with your favorite herbs and spices! Seasoning the gizzards generously adds layers of flavor and creates a personalized taste experience.

Cooking Confirmation: To ensure the gizzards are fully cooked, cut one open and check the center. The interior should be devoid of any pink and appear uniformly white and opaque.

Liquid Love: When braising or stewing gizzards, ensure they are adequately covered by the cooking liquid. This prevents them from drying out and becoming tough.

Versatility Abounds: Gizzards are culinary chameleons! Enjoy them on their own or incorporate them into various dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries. They can even be ground up and used in creative creations like burgers, meatballs, and sausage.

Embrace the Experimentation: Feel free to explore different flavor profiles and cooking methods beyond this recipe. The possibilities are endless!

Chicken Gizzards with onions
Chicken Gizzards with onions

Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions: Serving Suggestions

These flavorful gizzards pair beautifully with various grains, offering a complete and satisfying meal. Here are some popular options:


  • Rice: A classic and versatile choice, fluffy rice absorbs the delicious sauce from the braised gizzards.
  • Polenta: Creamy polenta adds a delightful textural contrast and complements the richness of the dish.
  • Bulgur Wheat: This nutty-flavored grain provides a delightful bite and additional fiber to the meal.


  • Cucumber Salad: A refreshing cucumber salad adds a cool and crisp counterpoint to the savory gizzards.
  • Carrot Salad: A slightly sweet and vibrant carrot salad complements the earthy tones of the gizzards.

Additional Tips:

  • Pre-cleaned gizzards can save you valuable time in the kitchen.
  • If cleaning them yourself, remove any remaining membrane and rinse thoroughly with cold water after using lime juice or vinegar.

Remember, this is just a starting point! Feel free to experiment with different side dishes and vegetables to discover your personal favorite pairings.

Chicken Gizzards with onions

Braised Chicken Gizzards with Onions: A Weeknight Wonder

This recipe transforms humble chicken gizzards into a flavorful and tender dish, perfect for busy weeknights. Packed with protein and surprisingly affordable, gizzards offer a delicious culinary adventure waiting to be explored.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 4
Calories 275 kcal


  • 1.5 – 2 lbs Chicken Gizzards cleaned (see cleaning tips below)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Sage
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
  • Hot Water preferably
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Large White Onion sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes optional


  • Marinate the Gizzards: In a large bowl, combine the cleaned chicken gizzards, garlic, parsley, black pepper, salt, sage, cumin, lime or lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Toss well and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Pressure Cook the Gizzards: Transfer the marinated gizzards and marinade to a pressure cooker. Add enough hot water to cover the meat. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, or until the gizzards are fully cooked through. Release pressure naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Brown the Gizzards and Sauté the Onions: In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste until fragrant and well combined with the oil. Add the cooked gizzards and cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing them to brown slightly. Stir in the sliced onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Simmer and Season: Pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid from the pressure cooker. Add more hot water if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season generously with salt, pepper, and a touch of red pepper flakes (optional). Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Plate your delicious braised chicken gizzards alongside fluffy rice and a refreshing salad for a complete and satisfying meal.


Cleaning Tips:
  • Choose fresh gizzards for optimal tenderness.
  • Remove any yellow lining and excess fat from the gizzards before using.
  • Soak the gizzards in milk or buttermilk for 30 minutes (optional) to further enhance tenderness.
  • Rinse the gizzards thoroughly under cold water after cleaning.
Additional Notes:
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Explore different herbs and spices to personalize the flavor profile.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Embrace the culinary adventure and discover the delicious potential of chicken gizzards!


Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 33gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 461mgSodium: 898mgPotassium: 468mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 558IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 5mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword chicken gizzards, chicken recipe, Easy recipe, healthy recipe, how to cook gizzards, protein
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

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