Lannae's Food and Travel

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February 7, 2009

Gizzards - I need help

The dish I made

I need help in preparing gizzards. Feel free to offer any tips or advice on the gizzard. I have about a cup of gizzards in my freezer waiting for me to do something with them. Read on, this is my story of the gizzard.

The dish I made is as follows:
local organic free-range gizzards
local oraganic smoked lard
locally made fettucine
grated parm

I cubed up the gizzards, and sauteed these in bacon drippings I saved from bacon from a local organic pig. I wanted the gizzards to have lardon quality to them. I then added a couple anchovies, some grated pepper and the topping was ready. I boiled up some of Lazzaroli's fettucine pasta (I love Tom Lazzaro's pasta a lot!), and topped it with the sauteed gizzards and a generous sprinkle of grated parm. The flavor was exactly how I wanted it, it had a really nice BBQ wood smoked flavor to it from th bacon drippings, the anchovies added that special umami saltiness to the dish that I really love, and of course the fresh made pasta is wonderful. The only problem was the gizzards, they were chewy, with an under cooked tendon tooth feel. It tasted great, but with a bad tough gizzard texture.

This is the 1st time I have cooked gizzards. My grandmothers and my mother used to cook these things, and never made me eat the dishes they cooked with them. I took no interest in gizzards, tendons, even liver as a child, and I never watched my relatives prepare gizzards. To prepare my dish, I made a mistake in not calling my mom, and not googling gizzards for cooking tips and help.

When we was in Lesmont, France, a tiny little town with only one restaurant that closes at 8 pm, I had the most delicious salad course at the tiny restaurant (will blog about this place later). The salad was a lovely bed of green lettuce, then sprinkled on top were bits of lardon, diced sauteed gizzards, and a hot poached poulet egg. When I tapped the egg with my fork, egg yolk oozed warmly over the salad making a rich sauce. The French lardon, please, there is nothing better than this version of pork and pork fat! I just can't go back to industrial packed USA bacon. The gizzards seemed to have been sauteed in the lardon fat, and had such a great tender bacon texture. I was trying to recreate this gizzard experience. The bacon source I have here in TN isn't like the French lardon, but it is good, tasty, and offers the right texture and smokey flavor. If I wanted to add an egg to the dish I have a great local organic free range egg supplier. Even the gizzards are from a good local farm. The crux of the issue is how I prepared and cooked the gizzards.

Ok, please, anyone out there cooking gizzards these days? Let me know what I should do with my gizzards to make a good gizzard dish!

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At 2/7/09, 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two words: pressure cooker.

At 2/8/09, 8:52 AM, Blogger slau said...

When we use gizzards in a chinese stir fry, there is a certain way of cutting them so that it that it cooks very quickly. Cut open the gizzard, remove the grit, fat, etc and the thick skin. Cut a few slashes on thick part then slice into pieces. I think if the oil is hot enough, it may also suffice as here in Malaysia, sometimes one is able to get skewers of gizzard deep fried in batter.

At 2/8/09, 10:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

i have cooked gizzards successfully two ways. i have simmered them in seasoned water for a couple hours until tender, or confited them in duck fat at 200 for again about two hours. i always trim the silver skin away and i usually quarter them before cooking. i'd love to try and confit them in bacon fat. no matter what i think you need to cook them for a while.


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