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What Are Chicken Gizzards? What Do They Taste Like?

Chicken gizzards are a widely enjoyed delicacy around the world. They have been part of traditional diets for centuries due to their rich flavor and variety of nutrients. What Are Chicken Gizzards?

You’re not alone if you have not had chicken gizzards and don’t know what they are. Some people consider them an exotic food item, as it is not every day you get to eat chicken insides.

Whether you’re looking for a unique dish to add to your weekly rotation or just want to explore some new flavors, chicken gizzards can be a great way to switch things up. What do they taste like? In this food guide, we’ll answer these questions and more.

Plate with raw chicken gizzards.

What Are Chicken Gizzards?

Chicken gizzards are a muscle found in the digestive system of many poultry, including chickens. They are typically small and dark in color, with a tough texture similar to beef jerky.

Chicken gizzards are among the many organs of the chicken. You’d have to learn more about the chickens to understand what gizzards are.

For starters, did you know that chickens do not have teeth? Unlike most animals, they do not chew on their food before swallowing. How do they do it? Well, they do not have to chew because of their gizzard.

The gizzard is an essential part of the chicken’s digestive tract. It is a muscle that contracts to grind the chicken’s food. However, for the gizzard to work how it’s supposed to, it needs the help of pebbles and grits.

For this reason, you’ll also see chickens taking in small stones and other debris by mouth.

The gizzard is a muscle that does a lot of work. So, they can be tough and chewy. You should know how to cook them properly to fix this unpleasant texture.

What Do Gizzards Taste Like?

Gizzards have a rich, meaty flavor that many compare to the liver. The texture of gizzards can vary depending on how they are cooked; they can be tender and juicy when roasted or stewed, or chewy if fried.

Gizzards usually have a slightly salty taste as well. Depending on the recipe, you may also taste a hint of herbs, garlic, onions, or other seasonings.

Also, despite being one of the animal’s organs, chicken gizzards do not taste like any other organ.

So, what do gizzards taste like? Generally, chicken gizzards taste like dark chicken meat but are a bit more intense. That said, if you like eating chicken, you’ll surely love eating gizzards too!

If you’re unfamiliar with the parts of the chicken considered dark, they are the thighs and legs. On the other hand, white meat is the breast, wings, and back.

Unless you cook a special dish that uses them as the main ingredient, gizzards are usually chopped into small pieces when included in recipes.

When chopped in this manner, you won’t even be able to tell that you’ve eaten them. They’ll blend right in with the dark meats.

Gizzards vs. Giblets

Giblets are what most people call the miscellaneous chicken parts. This umbrella term includes the liver, neck, heart, kidneys, and yes, gizzards. So when you say gizzard, it is only one of the many kinds of giblets.

Gizzards are giblets, but giblets are not always gizzards.

If you plan to cook just gizzards or livers, refrain from asking for a bag of giblets from the store. Or else you’ll end up with an assortment of organs and other chicken insides that you may not need for your recipe.

Chicken Gizzards Nutrition

Chicken gizzards are not only delicious but also surprisingly nutritious, providing an excellent source of lean protein, B-vitamins, and essential minerals.

They are an excellent source of lean protein, providing 26 grams per 4-ounce serving. This makes them a great choice for anyone looking to add more protein to their diet.

In addition, they contain a variety of B-vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6.

Chicken gizzards are also low in fat and calories, making them a great option for those looking to watch their waistline.

They are an excellent source of iron as well as phosphorus and zinc— essential minerals for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

How to Clean Gizzards Before Cooking

When you buy chicken gizzards from the store, they are probably already clean. If not, you’d have to clean the fresh gizzards yourself.

The gizzard houses dirt, pebbles, and other debris that aid food grinding. But the good thing is there is a pouch-like structure within the gizzard. This pouch holds together all the things you need to discard.

The key to cleaning the gizzards is to avoid puncturing this pouch. If you poke the pouch, the debris inside will spill all over the rest of the gizzard. They will give the gizzards an unpleasant smell that even cooking won’t remove.

The debris might also contain organisms that can make the gizzard unsafe to eat.

How to prepare chicken gizzards before cooking

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut along the length of the gizzard. Do so like you’re cutting an avocado until you reach the seed.
  2. Once your knife hits a tough membrane, cut slower just until you make a slit in the membrane itself.
  3. Stop cutting once you see the pouch; this is either yellowish, greenish, or grayish.
  4. Get a grip on both sides of the gizzard and pull each half apart. Little by little, you’ll see the entire pouch.
  5. Once the pouch is in clear view, pull it from the gizzard carefully. Its walls should be tough enough to withstand your force.
  6. Discard the pouch and rinse the gizzard.
  7. Remove any excess fat clinging to the gizzard.

How To Cook Chicken Gizzards?

Unlike chicken meat, gizzards are tough. Because of this, you should cook them in a different way than the rest of the chicken.

Instead, you should cook gizzards with moist heat using the low and slow methods.

Never toss them in a deep fryer before you’ve braised them. Cooking chicken gizzards this way will result in a rock-hard and unpleasant texture.

The best way to cook gizzards is to braise them slowly until they’re fork-tender. The braising time depends on many factors but usually takes between 30 minutes to 5 hours.

If you want them served fried, drain them properly after braising them and fry them as usual.

What Part Of A Chicken Is The Gizzard?

The gizzard forms part of the chicken’s digestive tract. It grinds the bird’s food, as chickens do not have teeth.

How Do You Cook Gizzards So They Are Not Tough?

To cook gizzards so they’re not tough, you should braise them. The key is moist heat with low temperature and slow cooking time.

How Do You Know When Gizzards Are Done?

You can poke them with a fork to know when the gizzards are already done. If they’re firm, then they’re probably done. The safest way to tell is by using a meat thermometer. If the internal temperature of the gizzards reads 165F, then they’re done and safe to eat.


If you’ve ever grabbed a bag of chicken giblets from the grocery store, you might have gotten a gizzard with it. So, what are chicken gizzards? A chicken gizzard is one of the bird’s internal organs. It is a vital part of the chicken’s digestive system which grinds the food, so it becomes ready for digestion.

They’ll be chewy and unpleasant if you don’t braise the gizzards before frying them. When you properly cook gizzards, they should be tender. And they’ll taste like chicken dark meat, just a bit more intense.

Plate with raw chicken gizzards.

What Are Chicken Gizzards

Natalia-Flavorful Home
Are you tired of the same old chicken dishes that lack excitement and flavor? Look no further than chicken gizzards, the unsung hero of the poultry world.
5 from 1 vote


  • chicken gizzards


  • Rinse the gizzards with cold water and pat them dry.
  • Place them in a medium-sized pot filled with enough salted water to just cover them. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to low. Allow the gizzards to simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove them from the heat and strain before serving.
  • Sauté chicken gizzards in a pan with a little oil or butter to add even more flavor. Simply season the gizzards with salt and pepper, then cook them in the skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to stir the gizzards occasionally to ensure they are cooked evenly.


Once you have prepared the chicken gizzards, you can use them in countless recipes. Gizzards can be added to salads, sandwiches, soups, stews and casseroles. You can also throw them in a stir-fry for some extra crunch and flavor.
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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