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Friday, December 9, 2011

Gizzard "Meatballs" Recipe

Chicken gizzard "meatballs" in tomato sauce.
 The flash made it look more orange than it
really was. It was a dark red, really.
Gizzards are pretty much the cheapest meat I can get locally. They also happen to be very, very nutritious, chock full of iron and other vitamins and minerals, being as they're organ meats. They're also quite delicious. Because of the price and the nutritional content, they make an amazing bargain,and since I am dairy free in addition to gluten free, I'm starting to rely on gizzards more and more in our diet.
I have to admit, I get bored of foods easily. I don't like endless repetition of the same few foods, so I'm constantly on the lookout for ways to mix things up a bit.
And that's where this recipe comes in.
Its meatballs.
Sort of.
Gizzard balls, really.
Organ balls.
Offal balls.
Fowl balls.
I'm having too much fun with this punning. :-D You get the gist.

Whatever you want to call it, they taste pretty much like meatballs, but are much cheaper, and can be used any way that you'd use regular meatballs. They hold together beautifully, just as would meatballs made from raw ground meat and eggs or fillers. If you want to eat organ meats but don't particularly enjoy their taste, this is a good way to disguise it enough to be able to eat it and get the nutrition they offer.

Gizzard "Meatballs" Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked and ground chicken or turkey gizzards
2 cups ground chicken breast (approximately chicken breasts from one whole chicken, or two sides of a chicken breast)
4 eggs
3/4 cups tapioca starch, potato starch, or any other fine flour

Instructions:
1. Boil gizzards until soft, approximately 1 hour in a pressure cooker or 3-4 hours in a regular pot.

2. Put gizzards in the food processor until you get a smooth paste.

3. Grind your chicken breast in the food processor until smooth.

4. Mix all the ingredients together.

5. Use this as the base for any meatballs or even meat loaf. Don't add any more fillers/stretchers like breadcrumbs, or shredded veggies, as it may not hold together as well. You can add finely chopped onions though. I've seasoned this with onion, garlic, salt, and Italian spices and cooked them in tomato sauce (pictured above). I've also seasoned them with soy sauce, ginger, honey, and scallions and boiled them in wonton soup to make a gluten free wonton style soup (minus the wrappers). They probably also would work to make burgers, but I haven't tried it yet.

If you never tried organ meats or never enjoyed organ meats, or just are looking for a change from the standard chopped and cooked gizzards, this recipe is truly a winner. :-D

Have you ever eaten gizzards before? In general, do you like organ meats? Do you think this is a recipe you'd try out?
What are your favorite ways to prepare meatballs?


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