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I've got chicken hearts. Now what?

Picked up some chicken hearts at the farmers' market today. I loved them the one time I had them, but that was at a Brazilian barbeque, which I cannot really recreate in my kitchen (much as I would love to).

So, what do I do? Pan fry? Braise? I'm completely at a loss, though excited to experiment...


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  1. Yum, pan fry/stir fry with onions and soy sauce. depending on size, you may want to cut in half. Season to taste and I eat it with rice.

    1. My mother used to saute in lots of butter and pour over rice with the juices, I used to love that!

      1. My mom always floured them with seasoned flour and pan fried them. :) MMMMmmmm

        1. I know that chicken hearts are tougher than chicken livers, but use the hearts to make a pate like chopped chicken livers. Saute the hearts with chopped onion and a little chopped bell pepper in olive oil. Chop that mixture up with some hard-boiled eggs and add Kosher salt to taste. Add more olive oil if needed. Spread the pate on good seeded rye bread.

          1. Olive oil, a bit of shallot, perhaps garlic, salt, pepper, thyme or rosemary, saute, deglaze with red wine. Good with rice, penne, or a piece of good bread to sop up the juice.

            1. I've stir-fried/braised them in either an Asian marinade (soy, ginger, garlic, scallions, sesame oil, sweetener, wine) or curry. I'm not really the biggest fan of them (except at Yakitori Totto in NY where they broil them over hot coals -- it's so tender), but DH loves them.

              1. One of the cheapest cuts available- and so good. I got enough for 2 people for 88 cents at the local market here in Austin, TX. I prepare them with fresh sweet corn (cut off the cob):
                marinate whole hearts 10 min in soy, ginger, sesame oil.
                lightly dredge in corn starch.
                in a non stick pan, pan fry lightly in olive oil until there is toasty coating of starch at the bottom of the pan and the hearts have lost their outside red color.
                remove hearts to a bowl.
                In the same pan, add fresh, uncooked corn off the cob (NOT FROZEN). after adding, reduce to med heat and saute the corn for about 2 min or until the bottom of the pan becomes dark but not burned.
                Add hearts and cool heavy cream (or 1/2&1/2) enough to cover.
                bring to a bubble- it will start to thicken.
                cover and reduce heat.
                cook for 5 min or until the coating at the bottom of the pan comes free
                Add some chopped fresh parsley.
                With a silicon spatula, scrape the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan and mix into the heart and corn mixture while mixing in the parsley. Be gentle while mixing.
                Serve over rice or by itself.
                This is a heavy, but delicious dish. The hearts should be tender.

                2 Replies
                1. re: FlyFsh

                  Thank you chowhounds - I bought a package of gizzards that had a few hearts in it and I am making a gizzard, mushroom and bean curd stew but didn't know if you could cook hearts for a long period or if they would get tough - your posts helped sort it out for me. Thanks!

                  1. re: FlyFsh

                    I found this recipe so helpful! Thanks Peter!

                    What I had to work with:
                    chicken hearts, fresh corn and homemade tzatziki sauce (without cucumber).

                    I substituted the heavy cream for the tzatziki sauce. I then added parsley flakes, vegeta, and cumin to the mixture.
                    I then covered and reduced heat. I ended up cooking it for 10 minutes, then set aside and let it cool for 2 minutes.
                    I poured the corn and heart mixture into my food processor to purée. (the hearts kinda freaked me out).

                    THIS TURNED OUT SO GOOD! GREAT EVEN.

                    Thanks for the inspiration!

                    -Sabrina ;)

                  2. One time several years ago I found a good-sized container of hearts at my neighborhood store. After thinking about them for a while, I sliced them all crosswise into three pieces each, patted them mostly dry with paper towels, seasoned them, tossed them in some flour and cooked them in plenty of butter. When they and the flour had gotten a good color I poured in some chicken broth, just enough to make a semi-clear brown gravy (seems to me there was some chopped onion in here somewhere too). Then I cooked some elbow macaroni and poured the heart/gravy stuff over it. When I showed the results to Mrs. O, she said, "Ooohh, those look exactly like..." I said, "Yes! It's called 'A**holes and Elbows!'" We had a good laugh, then a pretty good meal.

                    1. On the beef stroganoff thread, Sam Fijisaka says that when thin-sliced and prepared as a stroganoff, they taste like beef.

                      1. I love pan fried chicken hearts, but grilled is even better. My favorite is to marinate briefly (maybe 30 minutes) in the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis plus some lime or lemon juice. Skewer a bunch of hearts, and grill over charcoal or under the broiler. If you don't like it so hot, try a soy sauce + sesame oil + ginger + garlic + lemon marinade. Or if you're a minimalist, just brush with olive oil and sprinkle on some kosher salt.

                        And you need to use steel skewers -- bamboo will just turn to ash.

                        1. Nice to see some creative minds at work here - or maybe just lingering palates? I picked up a POUND - who knew? - of marked down hearts and gizzards last week and am going to try them w/ onions, 'shroomz, and celery, sauteed in olive oil, flavored with garlic, S&P, parsley and rosemary and deglazed w/ a leftover white wine, and then throw the whole melange over some sort of grain. Wish me luck!

                          1. They also make delicious soup! Just substitute them for chicken and cook your "chicken soup"
                            Or you can use hearts or any combination of hearts / gizzards / liver and saute them.
                            First, saute finely chopped onions in butter, add grated carrots, chopped celery and garlic. then add your hearts, salt, a bit of liquid (broth, water, anything) and simmer. In the end, I usually add either sour cream or heavy cream, bring to boil, check for seasoning and done :) Its delicious over pasta

                            1. I love them in my chicken soup. I don't even want to make it if I can't get hearts and gizzards. For a snack, I flour and fry in a little oil and butter, seasoned with garlic powder, lemon pepper etc (sometimes thyme and rosemary too) then add more butter and panko bread crumbs and continue till browned and crispy. If I want a meal out of it, I'll deglaze with some dry red wine to make a sauce and serve over rice or noodles. I don't mind my hearts being chewy. Chewy's my favorite texture.

                              1. Whenever I make them, I tend to start off with a homemade stock and then boil them with chicken breasts. I also thicken it and add some veggies (whatever I have on hand), and pour it over rice....it is sooooooo amazing...I am actually making chicken hearts for dinner tonight

                                1. I tend to grill them Asian style. So either sprinkle salt and drizzle with oil and grill / roast. I've also basted them with japanese yakitori sauce (I use this recipe which my family loves: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...) and grill / roast. I like my hearts and gizzards with some bite, so don't pre-cook them or anything and just throw them in the oven or on my grill.