Chicken hearts are small and delicate, and they're ready fast, making them ideal for a quick weeknight dinner.
Sprinkle them with spices, pan-fry them for five minutes, and dinner is ready!
I make this recipe quite often. It's easy and very flavorful. It's also ready fast, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
We all enjoy it, with the notable exception of my youngest, The Picky Eater. I can't say I'm surprised. 🙂 Organ meats are probably an acquired taste. I wasn't too fond of them as a kid either.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty offal recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Raw chicken hearts: They're not easy to find in U.S. supermarkets. I either special-order them at Whole Foods or buy them online.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use.
Spices: I use garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and ground cumin.
Parsley: Used for garnish.
This recipe is quick and easy. Unlike beef heart, which requires slow cooking for optimal results, chicken hearts are very suitable for quick pan-frying.
They are small, so they are ready fast - five to seven minutes of pan-frying on medium-high heat, and they are done. They are also milder in flavor when compared to beef heart.
For the full instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card. Here are the basic steps:
In a large bowl, mix the hearts with the oil and spices.
Cook them in a large skillet, stirring often, until cooked through. This should take about 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat.
Once done, transfer them to plates, and pour the tasty pan juices on top.
Make sure not to overcook the hearts, or they will turn out tough. When properly cooked, they're nice and tender, if a bit chewy.
Frequently asked questions
That's the challenging part! In U.S. supermarkets they're usually packed with gizzards, and the tray contains way more gizzards than hearts. But you can find them in most Hispanic markets.
Or you can order them online. I usually end up ordering them online (either at grasslandbeef.com or at wildforkfoods.com) and keeping several packages in my freezer. Sometimes I ask the butchers at Whole Foods to special-order them for me.
They're probably an acquired taste, but I do love them. Especially when made according to the recipe below. I find them very tasty, and their texture pleasantly chewy. The olive oil and cumin really enhance their delicate flavor.
If you're ready to try organ meats, I do recommend that you try this simple recipe. It's tasty and mild, so it makes a good introduction to offal.
I find that 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat is just right. Lower the heat to medium if the pan becomes too hot.
The USDA says they should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Cook the hearts in ghee instead of olive oil. It's delicious!
- Add more spices. I sometimes add a pinch of dried thyme or oregano.
- Cook them with sliced onions and mushrooms.
But they're pretty much just like any other meat, so you can simply serve them with your favorite side dishes.
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. Make sure you reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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Chicken Hearts Recipe
- 1 lb. chicken hearts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Place the chicken hearts, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and cumin in a large bowl.
- Use a large spoon, or your hands, to mix everything together, coating the hearts with the oil and seasonings.
- Heat a large, heavy frypan over medium-high heat, for about 3 minutes.
- Add the seasoned chicken hearts. Cook, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. If the pan becomes too hot, lower the heat to medium.
- Divide the hearts between four plates. Drizzle them with the pan juices, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.