First of all, before even starting to talk about this “lick-your-fingers” grilled chicken hearts recipe, let me add a side note about meat by-products.
Normally there are only 2 reactions about meat by-products: either total disgust or pure culinary interest. My attitude here leans more on a culinary side. The only thing I hate is liver. Any kind. Any form. I guess unfortunate for me, because liver is a healthy ingredient. But just like with buckwheat, I don’t like the taste of liver. All other parts of animals – be it hearts, tongue or gizzards – no problem! I even recall trying once to cook beef tripe, Gordon Ramsay style.
I have nothing against chicken gizzards. But they take a while to cook. You need to simmer them for quite some time to get nice tender texture. Chicken hearts on the other side are quick to cook and they’ve been my go-to quick supper saver.
How to cook chicken hearts
Chicken hearts cook rather fast – just about 10 minutes on high heat. The prepping process may be lengthy. Here is how to clean chicken hearts: you need to trim any excess fat and cut off ventricles, remove any blood clots, rinse well, pat dry. Considering that you may have a couple of dozens of hearts on you hand, it can take a bit of time.
I already tried sautéeing chicken hearts in a pan with some shallots, garlic, adding green onions and serving over the rice. Or there are some yakitori recipes calling for chicken hearts. I think I even saw chicken hearts yakitori in a Japanese restaurant. But I figured: why not trying to grill them? That would help to drip and drain all this fat that would otherwise stay in my skillet.
Are chicken hearts bad for you?
Technically, chicken hearts contain a lot of cholesterol, so I wouldn’t fancy this ingredient too often. On the other hand they also contain iron and zinc and of course they are a good source of high-quality protein with all the essential amino acids.
Here in Russia, chicken hearts are widely available. I think they can be bound in pretty much any grocery store. Typical Russian chicken hearts recipe would call for sour cream sauce. I find it’s an overkill making a fatty creamy sauce over the cholesterol rich chicken hearts.
And that brings me back to the grill. Having melted all the fat while grilling the skewers, I decided to add a simple flavor kick to the dish – some simple dressing made with parsley, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Serve it over brown rice and you get a quick and rather healthy dinner!
- 6 bamboo skewers
- 500 g chicken hearts
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp hot paprika
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
- Small bunch of parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 dry chili or ½ tsp chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt, pepper
- Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 min.
- Clean chicken hearts: trim off excess fat, veins/arteries, remove blood clots, rinse and pat dry.
- Crush garlic clove, mix with the rest of skewer ingredients in a medium bowl. Add hearts, toss well, leave to marinate for at least 15 min.
- Chop parsley, crush garlic cloves, finely chop dry chili discarding some of the seeds to reduce the heat. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the hearts onto skewers. Grill for 3-5 min. each side.
- Serve over brown rice with some dressing on top.