How to Cook Gizzards in a Slow Cooker So They're Tender

A slow cooker allows you to cook gizzards for a long time to make them tender.
Image Credit: onurdongel/iStock/GettyImages

The gizzard is a muscular organ found in the digestive tract of poultry. Since birds don't have teeth to chew their food, the gizzard helps them to break down their food before digesting it.

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Gizzards are used in many different cuisines — from China where they're stir-fried to the southern U.S. where they're braised or fried. In Portugal, gizzards are served in thick stew called moelas. Because they're made of tough muscle and connective tissue, gizzards need to be cooked a long time to make them tender.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound chicken gizzards

  • Frying pan

  • 4 tbsp. oil

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Slow cooker

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tsp. oregano or marjoram leaves

  • 1 tbsp. parsley or celery leaves, chopped finely

  • Salt

  • White rice

Instructions

  1. Peel the inner skin off the gizzards if it hasn't already been done. It's olive green in color and peels off easily. Left in place, it makes the gizzards taste bitter.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Sauté them for a few minutes until the onions soften and begin to look glazed.
  4. Put the onion mixture and gizzards in the slow cooker.
  5. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and herbs. If necessary, add enough water to barely cover the gizzards.
  6. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.
  7. Remove the gizzards from the slow cooker.
  8. Taste the broth for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
  9. Measure the broth. Add 1 cup of rice for every 2 cups of broth.
  10. Return the gizzards to the slow cooker with the rice.
  11. Cover and cook another 2 hours until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the gizzards and rice are fully cooked.

Tip

Sauté 1 cup of sliced mushrooms with the onions, garlic and bay leaf. Cut the cooked gizzards in half and sauté them in melted butter until they're golden brown.

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