Wondering how to clean chicken hearts? It’s a simple process, that doesn’t take much time. Cleaning chicken gizzards is more complicated, but worth the effort.
As a young girl, my siblings and I use to fight over the chicken heart and gizzard. My mother would cook a whole chicken, which meant there was one small heart and one gizzard for the meal.
Of course, there was a lot of other meat, but I think the scarcity of the organ meats caused us to really want them.
With six kids, there were never enough chicken hearts to go around.
Now my kids fight over them too.
Chicken hearts and gizzards are organ meats, and nutrient-rich so I’m happy to let my children eat them.
Rich in B vitamins, organ meats are also dark chicken meat and a great protein, zinc, and iron source.
By including internal organs in your diet, you also have less waste plus you are serving wholesome foods. Organ meats are definitely an acquired taste, which is why some people throw them out when butchering.
When butchering chicken, a lot of people will just throw them into the gutbucket.
Because of this, we sometimes get a surplus of hearts and gizzards. My husband came home from a butchering day with close to 50 hearts and 30 gizzards.
He helped them gut the chickens, and got the organs. I was happy to clean chicken gizzards and hearts for the extra b-complex vitamins in our diet.
When buying chicken hearts from local grocery stores, they don’t need to be cleaned.
You could also buy chicken hearts from a local butcher.
How To Clean Chicken Hearts While Butchering
If you are raising your own chickens, you know that processing a chicken is part of it. When butchering a chicken, raw chicken hearts are the first organ that is pulled out when gutting.
It comes out easily, with minimal resistance.
With a sharp knife, cut off a small section of the connective tissues on the top of the heart. Trim the excess fat.
Set it aside in a separate bowl. Finish gutting all the chickens before cleaning the hearts.
Wash the heart with clean, cold water.
Drain the water off of the hearts. Pour a generous amount of table salt over the hearts.
At least half a cup, depending on the number of hearts in your bowl.
For about 30 hearts, pour half a cup of salt. With your hands, rubs the salt all over the hearts. Rub well (you can use disposable gloves if you want).
This salt acts as an abrasive, as well as a preservative. It kills bacteria by sucking out water from them.
You’ll notice the hearts releasing dingy gray water. Rinse with cold water, and repeat.
Do this two times in total, then give them a final rinse with cold water. Done!
The chicken hearts are ready to be packaged, frozen, or cooked for supper. I like to add several hearts to a package when butchering chickens.
Chicken liver can be cleaned in the same way.
How To Cook Chicken Hearts
Cooking chicken hearts is similar to any other meat. They do tend to be tough easily, however. The best way to cook chicken hearts is by using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
For tender chicken hearts, the internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165°F and a maximum of 180°F.
Baking Chicken Hearts
The easiest way to cook chicken hearts is to include them in the whole chicken recipe.
If you’re baking the chicken to make Honey Garlic Chicken, throw in several hearts. Cook them alongside the chicken.
Home grow chicken usually takes longer to bake, and the same applies to home grow chicken hearts.
Fried Chicken Hearts Recipe
This recipe has simple ingredients and can be served in 40 minutes.
In a medium frying pan, place 2 cups of chicken hearts. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Sprinkle the hearts with a teaspoon of seasoning salt, and a sprinkle of Montreal chicken spice or black pepper.
Brown the chicken hearts on medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once browned, add 1 cup of water and cover with a lid.
Turn down the heat to medium-low.
Occasionally stir the hearts, making sure there is enough moisture so the hearts are gently steamed.
If the water evaporates, add a little more.
Steam for 30 minutes. Check to make sure the internal temperature has reached 165°F.
Open the lid and let all water evaporate. Turn off the heat. Enjoy with a side of Garlic Parmesan Asparagus or your favorite vegetable.
The best-tasting chicken hearts are tender and moist.
How long to boil chicken hearts
If you are boiling chicken hearts, boil them for approximately 30 minutes on medium heat. The internal temperature of chicken hearts should be 165°F-180°F.
Organ meats are a nutrient-dense food, that we don’t get nearly enough of.
We have learned to eat most parts of the chicken, but the liver is still not our favorite. In our house, gizzards (the stomach of the chicken) and hearts are favorites.
We don’t usually have them in large quantities, so having chicken hearts feels like a special occasion.
Learning how to clean chicken hearts is worth the effort.