This fall I raised some broiler chickens again with my community garden cooperative broiler group and I also raised some at home in my backyard. Not only does this mean lots of chicken for my freezer for the winter, but it means I have ALL the parts of the chickens including giblets and feet. After raising and caring for an animal, I don't want any parts of my chickens go to waste. That just wouldn't seem like the right thing to do. That means finding tasty ways to prepare parts I don't often eat, such as the hearts and gizzards.
Recently, I thought about ways to use the hearts. I've seen them used in a giblet gravy. I've also had giblets in stuffing and in rice. However, I was thinking of having them be a little more front and center so I decided to try grilling them.
I started with some store-bought Thai Peanut Sauce. Just buy your favorite brand or make your own.
The chicken hearts were from my garden raised chickens
I cut them each heart lengthwise in two the long way. There were two reasons for this. First, to have more area for the sauce and second so they didn't look so much like hearts and scare people off from trying them.
I then added some of the peanut sauce to the bag , put the hearts back in the fridge and left it to marinate for a good hour. After that, it was simple, just skewer and grill. Add a bit more peanut sauce for the table if you want.
They were really fantastic. Much better than I would have had guessed. I've been really craving them since I made them and may have to actually go buy some more chicken hearts becausee mine are all gone now. I am starting to eye the package of frozen gizzards in the freezer. I'm not sure if want to go with the sure thing with the peanut sauce or try some thing new for the gizzards.
If you don't raise your own chickens and want to try this and you happen live in the Boston area then try Pete and Jens Backyard Birds. They raise fantastic tasting chickens the right way. Hopefully they will still have a supply of chicken hearts left.
If you live outside of the Boston area try localharvest.org to find a farmer that raises their chickens on pasture.
My Backyard Meat Chickens 2009
Community Garden Meat Chickens 2009