These deliciously crispy fried chicken gizzards are a southern classic. First simmered until wonderfully tender, then battered and fried to golden perfection. This is a great recipe for lovers of chicken gizzards and first-time experimenters alike.
To complete this meal serve these fried gizzards with popular southern dishes such as southern fried corn, collard greens, cornbread, and fried pickles.
What are chicken gizzards?
The gizzard is basically the stomach of the chicken. Since chickens don't have teeth, they instead use a muscular stomach to grind up food and send it on its way through the digestive system. Organ meats like gizzards are high in protein, high in vitamins, an excellent source of iron, and low in fat.
How to clean chicken gizzards
When cooking chicken gizzards it is important to clean them properly. You may want to trim off any excess connective tissue, sinew or silverskin on the gizzards since it will be chewy. Also wash gizzards to remove any debris inside. Most gizzards are sold partially cleaned already, so it doesn't require much effort. Sometimes a quick rinse under the faucet is all you need.
If you purchase whole gizzards that haven't been cleaned you will want to slice them open to clean out any debris inside the gizzard. You will also want to remove any of the thicker yellow-tinted lining that may still be attached to the exterior. Basically, if it doesn't look like something you want to eat it needs to be trimmed off or washed.
How do chicken gizzards taste?
Gizzards are a tough muscle with a very firm almost chewy texture. The flavor is reminiscent of dark chicken meat but slightly gamier. This distinctive taste can be an acquired taste for some. Grilling gizzards or deep frying them are two of the best ways to introduce people to try this part of the chicken for the first time.
What do I need for frying gizzards?
- Chicken gizzards
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, sage, and cayenne pepper.
- Frying oil - I recommend canola oil or peanut oil. However, any vegetable oil will work.
How to make them tender
You can fry chicken gizzards without taking the extra time to make them more tender, but simmering them in liquid for one hour will make them noticeably more tender when eating. There is no need for a rolling boil, simmering them at a low temperature in a pot or large saucepan is all that is needed.
You can simmer in water or chicken broth for added flavor. I also occasionally add bay leaves to the simmering liquid. Once you are done simmering place your tender gizzards in a refrigerator to cool.
Tip: The longer you simmer the more tender they become.
How to make fried chicken gizzards
You can use a traditional home deep fryer for my chicken gizzards recipe, however, being a classic southern dish I think using a cast iron chicken fryer is more traditional. Whatever you choose to use, the important thing is that it has deep enough walls to contain a few inches of hot oil for frying.
My fried gizzard recipes only call for a single dredging of flour and seasonings. This works, but it creates an unexcitingly thin breading on the chicken that isn't very crisp or flavorful. Instead, I like doing a proper dredge that includes a dunk in beaten eggs. This thickens up the breading significantly. This is the same style of breading you would find on traditional fried chicken.
To bread the chicken gizzards first combine flour with the seasonings. In a separate dish, mix together the egg and milk until well beaten. Begin by tossing the gizzards in milk (or soaking them in milk beforehand), then drain gizzards from the milk and add to the flour mixture. Work in batches as needed.
Once fully coated in flour place gizzards in the egg mixture. As you remove them from the eggs let the excess egg drain off prior to adding them back to the flour mixture one final time. Giving them two coats of flour is the secret to making the coating exceptionally crisp.
Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry the breaded chicken gizzards until the breading is golden brown. This will take approximately 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
What dipping sauce goes with fried chicken gizzards?
The best dipping sauce for fried chicken gizzards is whichever one your favorite is! However, if you aren't sure where to start, give one of these suggestions a try:
- Hot Sauce
- Comeback sauce
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Fried Chicken Gizzards
- 1 ½ pounds chicken gizzards
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk plus two tablespoons for mixing with egg
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- oil for frying
- Clean the chicken gizzards as needed.
- Heat a large pot of water on the stovetop to a simmer and add the gizzards. Simmer for one hour to tenderize them, using enough water to cover the chicken.
- Remove chicken from the water and cool in the refrigerator while soaking in one cup of milk.*
- Once cooled, set up your dredging station by mixing the flour and seasonings in a large dish, and beat one egg with two tablespoons of milk in a separate dish.
- Drain the gizzards from the milk and lightly dredge in the flour mixture. Work in batches until all of the gizzards have been coated.
- Place each of the floured gizzards in the beaten eggs and let any excess egg drain off prior to placing directly into the flour mixture for one more coating.
- Fry chicken gizzards in batches in 350 degree oil until golden brown. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove from oil and drain on a wire rack or paper towels, then serve with your favorite hot sauce or preferred dipping sauce.
Thank you for this recipe and it was easy direction , usually when I read a recipe it’s not very clear
I discovered tender gizzards a couple of years ago. Hard-fried at a chicken restaurant, they were a struggle between taste and texture for me. I took a Euro/Asian approach one day, (they were $1.19/lb for pure protien, c'mon) and did the simmer. Heaven. I want to slice them into a salad, a stir-fry, bread and fry, but I never get that far. A roadtrip companion kept begging for another "meat cookie" from the cooler.
I rinse and squeeze under running water, pulling out as much blood as possible. No need to remove the silver stuff, just the crinkly yellow if it's there. Separate onto bite-sized. Cover with cold water, add per pound 1/4- onion (don't bother to chop or peel), cpl cloves garlic, split, bay leaf cracked, 2-3 clove heads, 5-10 peppercorns. Celery, carrot all welcome if available. Bring the water to boil, skim if you want a clearer broth, reduce heat and simmer barely for min hour. A hard boil will re-toughen lean meat. Taste bits from 40-60 min till desired tenderness. Sometimes its an hour and a half for me. I want a tiny bit of chew left. SAVR THE BROTH. It will gell in the fridge, so loaded with collagen.. and flavor.. No buttermilk/baking soda brine, it messes with flavor and the tender vs stringy issue. Then slice and use, bread and quickly fry, or enjoy meat cookies. I add salt if needed later. This is just my experience, tested many times. Oh, and for the squeamish, it's not actually organ meat, it's a muscle. Just a reluctant one!
I've prepared them just fried or just boiled. This combination is absolutely amazing.
I replaced the water with chicken stock with a little salt & pepper. Reserved liquid for gravy.
I was hesitant to dredge the egg mixture before the flour. I'm glad I took the leap.
Thanks for a wonderful southern twist to a protein my family has loved for generations. My 91 yo mother is in awe that she can eat gizzards again due to how tender they are.
Going to try this recipe. Thanks
Had no idea what I was doing and this recipe walked me right through it! If I can follow it anyone can! Thanks for the help.. much appreciated!
Fiancee said these were the best and most tender that he's ever had.... And I am a terrible cook!
Thank you for this clear & concise recipe and for helping me impress my carnivorous other-half!
I like to use Heavy Cream to soak the gizzards in it coats better and regular milk for egg batter
They look delicious, can't wait to try your recipe.
Your going to love them they are delicious
I like to boil mine in Zaterains crab boil.
Sounds good. I boil mine too.
Bought some in sale & didn't have milk so I improvised with mustard to tenderize. Will try your recipe next.
I'm doing them now. It looks delicious and I'm sure we will love them. Thank you
The one recipe I‘ve been looking for.
I can't wait to make this thanks for the recipe
Can water be used instead of milk for the mixture
I mix egg milk a little corn starch and flour and seasoning batter .very good
I've been cooking gizzards a long time. and i'm sorry to say i knew nothing about simmering the gizzards beforehand. this makes so much sense now that i've read your
recipe. thanks. getting ready to try this cant wait.
Ore Cantrell crisp
I’m glad I’m not the only one who has never heard of boiling before hand. I’ve cooked a lot of gizzards and never once boiled them I’m gonna have to try it lol
Try a low simmer rather than a hard boil. 40-90 minutes, worth the time. Save the broth
I simmer gizzards in chicken broth, chopped onion and salt & pepper to taste until tender (about 2 hours). Then turn up the heat and thicken the broth with a corn starch slurry and serve over rice. If in a hurry, serve over buttered toast. YUM!
Can’t wait to make this recipe.
Excellent. Simmered 90 minutes in chicken broth. Followed recipe. So tender and tasty. Best ever.
I totally agree with Sherry! I fried for 3 minutes. Best I have ever made! Will do again. I simmered the giblets in water for 2 hours before frying.thank you for a great recipe!
Unbelievable, I did deviate from the recipe a bit by slow boiling 4 hours with a little salt and pepper added instead of just 1 hour, made gizzards nice and tender, the rest was by the recipe.
Next time try boiling them in Zaterains Crab Boil. My grandma in N'awlins taught me this about 40 years ago, I never make them any other way.