The gizzard and heart of a chicken — usually called giblets — and the neck are typically removed from the bird before cooking and discarded. In many cases, they're removed before purchase, packaged in plastic and stored inside the abdominal cavity of the chicken.
You can also purchase giblets separately in many grocery stores and from most butchers. The neck and giblets of a chicken are good for making gravy or chicken stock that can be used for soups and stuffing. Here's how to prepare them.
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Things You'll Need
Chicken necks, gizzards and hearts
Large pan with lid
2 to 3 tsp. vegetable oil
2 celery stalks
1 to 2 onions
2 1/2 cups water
14-oz. can chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. thyme
- Remove the package that contains the chicken gizzard and heart from the chicken's abdominal cavity and take them out of their packaging. If you purchased them separately, remove the packaging and discard.
- Cut the chicken neck off close to the chicken's body, leaving the skin intact.
- Prepare your vegetables by washing them and cutting them into small pieces.
- Carrots, onion and celery add a nice flavor to chicken gravy or soup.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, throw in the giblets and chicken neck. Stir frequently until they're fully browned (about 10 minutes).
- Add about 2 1/2 cups of water to the pan along with the vegetables and the can of chicken stock, then bring to a boil.
- Season with the bay leaf, peppercorn, thyme, garlic or other spices, then reduce the heat so that the stock gently simmer.
- Partially cover the pan.
- Cook the chicken neck, gizzards and heart for about one hour. A fully cooked gizzard and heart is easy to chop, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
- Strain the stock in a strainer and use it in soup, gravy or any dish that calls for chicken broth.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that casseroles and stuffing containing chicken giblets be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.