In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Simple Chicken Liver And Gizzard.

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The majority of people I know are turned off by liver and when you mention chicken gizzards they have this look on their face as if they think I’m joking. People actually eat gizzards? I don’t blame the average North American for disliking liver as I too was turned off the first time I had liver at a local restaurant. A coworker insisted we go out for lunch at a pub that had liver and onions on special. The texture, smell and overall taste was not appealing. It was nothing close to the liver and gizzards that my mom would make with dhal and rice for dinner.


During my childhood on the islands I remember my mom having a bag in the freezer where she would put the chicken liver and gizzard from the weekly chicken we’d buy from the chicken farm, until she had enough for a meal. My job back then was to “feather” the chicken and I can safely tell you that I don’t miss that chore. Our mom hated the automatic “plucker” that the farm had, as she thought that it bruised the meat of the chicken. So little ole me had to hand pluck the chicken every Sunday morning.

Here’s my rendition of the recipe my mom would use back then.

You’ll Need…

1lb chicken liver
1 lb chicken hearts and gizzards
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
1 small onion sliced
1/2 medium tomato sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced or crushed
1 scallion diced (green onion)
1/2 teaspoon green seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce (dark)
1/4 hot pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ketchup

Start off by cutting the gizzards into small pieces (about 1/2 inch), but cut the liver into bigger chunks (I’ll explain why later). Place in a bowl and squeeze in the lime or lemon juice, mix well and rinse with cool water. Drain off all the excess water and let’s season this so it can marinate.  Add the following to the bowl.. salt, black pepper, green seasoning, tomato, hot pepper (optional – can use hot sauce as well), scallion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Mix well and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

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Heat the oil on medium/high heat in a pan, then add the seasoned gizzard and hearts ONLY! This is why I suggested above that you keep the pieces of liver a bit bigger, so you can fish them out and keep them aside. Since liver cooks very fast we won’t be adding it to the pot until much later. So go ahead and add the gizzard and heart pieces, as well as any of the marinade. Give it good stir and add the ketchup and soy sauce. This will help it achieve some colour or it will be rather pale. Add the 1/4 cup of water and ring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid and allow it to cook for about for 25-30 minutes. The gizzard will take a while to get tender. Stir occasionally.

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After 30 minutes there should still be a bit of liquid in the pot and the gizzard should be tender. Here is when we add the seasoned liver we set aside earlier. After adding the liver, turn up the heat to medium, give it a good stir and cover the pot. Let that cook for 3 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another 3 minutes. My mom would turn up the heat if at this point the gravy was thin, since we enjoyed it with little or no gravy.

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Check this observation I made over the years. I remember when I first moved to Canada way back when… you could get a huge pack of chicken liver and gizzards at the grocery store for under a dollar. Today, you have to be lucky to even find it in the meat section and if you do, the price is almost as high as buying chicken breast. The influx of immigrants created a huge demand for such things. And butchers are only too happy to cash in. The same can be said for pig feet, oxtail, goat, etc.

If you’re not daring enough to try the gizzards and hearts, do try the liver only. Just season as above and cook no more than 6 minutes in total on high heat, or you’ll wreck the liver. And before you go I’d like to ask you to leave me a comment below – even if it’s just to say hello. It’s appreciated. BTW, have you connected with us on facebook yet?

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60 Comments

  1. Mark
    June 5, 2019 / 6:46 am

    We do these in a dry, peppery curry and serve with sada Roti or fry bakes at a lot of breakfast shops here in Trinidad. It is never enough. Great job Chris.

  2. May 1, 2019 / 11:34 am

    OMG!! I’m so hungry, I will make this later today. Thank you!

  3. Joel Rolloda
    July 18, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    Thanks for this easy to follw step-by-step instruction. For a newbie like me, this really helped.

  4. Jean Gordon
    March 8, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Hi Chris:
    I could not help but smile when I read the recipe for today. I love chicken gizzards, turkey gizzards, hearts and liver so much! When I am roasting a turkey, I cannot wait until it is done so that I can eat them! You are so right when you say the prices escalated tremendiously! I have not cooked any chicken gizzards for a long time because they are very hard to get where I shop now. I also love souse! Have not had that in about fourteen years!
    Thank you for your recipes and the trip down memory lane!

    God bless, keep up the good work!

    Love,
    Jean Gordon.

  5. Uwe
    February 15, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for the recipe. I used all three of them in soups before but will try your recipe. If you are in Hamilton or Mississauga, Starsky carries them as well as chicken feet and Turkey necks. Thanks again.
    Uwe

  6. Laurie
    February 14, 2016 / 11:33 pm

    Thank you for these instructions and recipe! I made this tonight (heart for Valentine’s Day, ha) and we really liked it. We baked and mashed plantain and served this over the plantain. I have never had chicken gizzards, hearts, or liver. It takes a little getting used to, but I actually really like gizzards. We will make this again, and have plenty of green seasoning to try with other recipes. Thanks again!

  7. Robert
    October 17, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Try sauteing a floured, salt and peppered half inch thick slice of calves liver in butter for 1 minute, flipping it over and saute for another minute.
    People who hate liver, find they love it when it’s cooked this way.

  8. Victoria Barrett
    September 29, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Will try this with the gizzards and liver as I don’t eat chicken hearts.

  9. Zelda Marks
    August 2, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    Am trying the gizzard only as that’s my favourite. Thank you.

  10. Lawrence
    July 28, 2015 / 12:31 am

    Thank you for the recipe. I used some green curry seasoning mix as I could not find any green seasoning. It turned out great and has a really good flavor!

  11. Teresa Massa
    October 18, 2014 / 11:04 am

    My husband loved it!!!! He used to eat as s child. Thank you for the step by step instructions! God bless you and yours!

  12. Jill
    October 17, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    Making this now. At the step to let the gizzards and hearts simmer. My kitchen smells like heaven. I had a haitian roomate last year who used to make a similar dish and I have been craving it!!! Yum. Thx for the recipe

  13. Coolbreeze
    June 21, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    This is superb, my guests have asked me to make it again and again…thank you

  14. June 9, 2014 / 11:25 am

    hi Chris, I have always been interested in island food, thank you so much for your delicious recipes, I love all curried foods, in fact I LOVE all foods…:)

  15. Sherry Smith
    April 10, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Hi Chris,

    Love this recipe, being a trinidadian this same dish can be prepared with curry as well omitted the soy sauce,Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. I really do love liver & gizzard, thanks Chris

  16. March 27, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    I don’t care much for chicken livers but used to really enjoy the heart and gizzard when I ate meat. This recipe is reminiscent of what was also prepared by my Mum in our home……and it was delish! Thanks, Chris! Appreciate what you do very much.

  17. March 27, 2014 / 11:59 am

    Hi Chris – this looks awesome! I’ve never had luck cooking gizzards; apparently I haven’t been cooking them long enough. Must try this recipe.

  18. joseph
    February 27, 2014 / 2:28 am

    hi Chris,

    nice presentation….good photography.

    thanks n best wishes

    joseph

  19. monika
    February 8, 2014 / 8:47 am

    Liked your dish, so did the rest of my family. The taste of the gizzard is uncommon to us compare to what we usually cook. With a good Tomato-onion salat accompanying the dish it was a tasteful experience sure to be repeated. Thank you.

  20. Robin
    February 3, 2014 / 5:38 am

    Can this dish be served with rice or potato?
    / Robin, Sweden

    • monika
      February 8, 2014 / 8:51 am

      The dish goes well with both rice or potatoes. Being German I personally prefer potatoes but my husband being Indian preferred it with rice. So it’s up to your tastebuds. Anyhow enjoy!!!

  21. HamEid Rafistar
    January 13, 2014 / 10:31 am

    Good man! Liver/Gizzard is my favourite dish. On your website I find, for my liking the best details recipe/cooking mathod I have come across so far. I am trying to cook ASAP. Thanks very much. Bye for now

  22. Steve
    January 4, 2014 / 1:51 pm

    I always loved this dish. Checked out your youtube channel as well. Two thumbs way up. Bless!

  23. Paula hogan
    December 18, 2013 / 8:58 am

    Sorry..it should have read “gizzards and eggplant”

    Paula

  24. Paula hogan
    December 18, 2013 / 8:56 am

    Chris, any recipes for just gizzards and au regime? I used to eat this in Brussels, prepared by an East African friend. It was delicious, unfortunately, I never asked for the recipe.

    Thanks
    Paula

  25. Harold
    December 5, 2013 / 10:41 pm

    Everything in this recipe sounds like it should be fantastic. Can’t wait to try it.

  26. Abbi
    November 7, 2013 / 2:49 pm

    Chris you just converted me. That looks delicious and I will definitely try this recipe.

  27. Dan K
    October 15, 2013 / 8:39 am

    What a coincidence! I just happen to have some unused duck livers in the fridge. This looks good!

  28. natalie
    October 14, 2013 / 1:33 pm

    i love liver and gizzards

  29. jennifer
    May 7, 2013 / 7:06 am

    hi chris how are you love all your recipes . I love liver and gizzards especially curried dry with hops bread, yummy.
    keep on cooking brother.
    Jennifer

    • monika
      February 8, 2014 / 8:41 am

      Rice or potatoe both match well with this dish, I personally prefer potatoes. A tomato-onion salat is a good accompaniment

  30. March 16, 2013 / 1:45 pm

    Hello Chris, I love this liver recipe. Here in St.vincent we do liver all the time. Most people curry it to serve with white rice or with roti, my family loves it best when it's fry….Thank you and keep them recipes coming man..

  31. La-Fleur
    March 16, 2013 / 1:42 pm

    I love your version of this, here in St. Vincent we do it all the time, sometimes we even curry the liver to eat with white rice or we do liver roti. My family like their liver fry, the best of all. Keep them recipes coming man….

  32. Pauline
    February 18, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    I used this recipe as the base to make a single serving dish from a single chicken’s innards. I liked the zing of the dish but the textures of the meats will take some getting used to.

  33. Yasmin
    February 12, 2013 / 10:12 pm

    Thank you Chris for the great receipes, I always look at your receipes when I forget how to make a dish that I remember from childhood, and of course I get alot of new ones from you. Keep up the good work.

  34. anne marie
    February 10, 2013 / 6:42 am

    I remember how good the liver used to taste when my mom made but somehow, I ccould never get it to taste like hers. Maybe I would try this recipe and finally get it right.

  35. Cindy johns
    February 4, 2013 / 9:57 pm

    Looks much better than the way I cooked them tonight. Will have to give this a try.

  36. Kat
    October 30, 2012 / 5:23 pm

    Few people do like gizzards but I remember loving it as a child when my Gramma ussed to make them for her and I. Unfortunately I was unable to get her recipe as she passed away a few years ago. I tried to boil them and season them but I couldn't get it right and ended up ruining the batch. Luckily I found your recipe. I can't wait to try it…:)

  37. Marle
    April 17, 2012 / 9:39 pm

    Hi Chris, I made this recipe twice. Once with only livers and loved the taste. Yesterday I added the gizzards and hearts. I am Dutch, love to experiment but not used to gizzards. When the tasty dish was ready I tried it and loved the taste but found the gizzards still too chewy. I almost started to cook something else but I would finish too late and served my partner and a friend (west indians) anyway, prepared to see them putting up a face. I was astonished when I saw them eating with so much gusto. My partner understood my fright for the chewy issue and told me that his mother boiled the gizzards in water with garlic first. Thank you so much for introducing me to gizzards and making my friends happy!

  38. Sandra
    April 4, 2012 / 2:24 am

    Hi Chris,
    I love livers and hearts but not gizzards, I make fried livers and hops bread sometimes and I use the same green seasoning that I make for most of my meats. I also fry it and eat like cutters with lots of hot peppers or have it with some rice and dhal. I usually put a little curry powder in half when I'm seasoning it and leave the other half without. I fry it in two batches the one without the curry first then the one with the curry. I always make it dry, that's one thing I don't like with gravy and it's delicious! Thanks again Chris and God bless!

  39. agryg
    March 10, 2012 / 5:32 pm

    I made this, and it was very good – in fact, it was good enough I used it as the pattern recipe for a version on my clovegarden.com Web site, which is still woefully deficient in Caribbean recipes. I did include a link back to your site, though neither images nor text were copied.

  40. Jini Segulam Singh
    August 29, 2011 / 4:06 pm

    Just so you know chicken livers and gizzards are major components in my Christmas stuffing.
    I too grew up eating liver and gizzards in Trinidad and in Canada. The key is that you clean them well and remove any nasty blue veins and things that are funky.

  41. kathleen Huggins
    August 19, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    I enjoy many of your recipes….Kathleen Huggins

  42. Kathleen Huggins
    August 19, 2011 / 8:27 pm

    I am definitely going to try this!!

  43. kirk
    August 15, 2011 / 9:58 pm

    Tried this recipe this evening. I really loved it. Served it over rice. Like most rural Americans, I grew up eating giblets and they are a comfort food for me. Thank you for giving me a new way to enjoy them! (Now… what to do with all this left over Green Sauce in my freezer!? lol)

  44. Carrie
    May 19, 2011 / 5:17 pm

    Thank You! I have only eaten chicken liver pate and deep-fried livers but I am scouting something to put in my roti (just learned to make it from an Indian friend..) Interesting how close your green seasoning mix is to sofrito. Also I have had Nando's livers in S.A. and in the UK. SOOOOO good.

  45. Derrick
    April 8, 2011 / 3:53 am

    Love chicken liver and gizzart god bless your mom for this recipes and you to share it with everyone.

  46. March 24, 2011 / 11:54 am

    I love Chicken innerds. Your recipe looks delicious!! Will give it a try.

  47. Priscilla
    March 21, 2011 / 9:58 am

    I have a confession, Chris… while your recipies are all fabulous, my very favorite part of each one is your inclusion of your personal tales of life as a boy in Jamaica. Jamaica is our favorite place to vacation and we love the people, and your recollections of your childhood have really personalized this beautiful island for me. Today, your "chicken-feathering" tale really made me grin! I continue to be amazed that you have remained in Canada all these years… no offense to Canada, but Jamaica is so JAMAICA!

  48. March 12, 2011 / 11:05 am

    Battered and fried gizzards are divine. Actually, you have me thinking that I should head to the supermarket and pick up a pack of liver and gizzards. In Guyana, it would be bounjayed dry (dry-curry) and served with dhal and rice and loads of achar.

  49. Olive
    February 7, 2011 / 9:07 pm

    I enjoy liver, it was a childhood fav, but must be smoothered in onions and gravy. This recipe looks very appetizing and I plan on making it very soon. Thank you Chris for this recipe…

  50. cc1027
    January 10, 2011 / 9:08 pm

    just got thru cooking this for my husband and he loved it great taste he said it had! now i am also cooking the hearty chicken soup! hope it turns out just as great!

  51. Lis
    December 29, 2010 / 12:47 am

    It is a very good recipe. I try today it came out very yummy! My husband likes gizzard and heart. I dry gizzard by using paper towel and marinated them leave over night in the refrigerator. Very yummy not only my husband, I and my small son 7 years old he likes it too. Thanks for your recipe. I will cook it again soon.

  52. Cheeya
    December 8, 2010 / 10:34 pm

    I've never tried gizzards before, must try this recipe. I made curried turkey neck tonight, (best part of the turkey) My boyfriend could'nt believe how good it was. To bad most people won't give these parts a chance!

  53. Antonette Simpson
    December 5, 2010 / 10:48 pm

    Hi, I cook the dish today and it came out just fine, my son love the gizzards and hearts

  54. Champa
    November 29, 2010 / 3:33 pm

    Hi Chris,
    I like it curried and massala dry down with dhal and rice.

  55. Sandy Ramcharan
    November 28, 2010 / 7:28 am

    nice recipe…had chicken gizzards stewed jus last week :D…i like it battered and fried as well…not a fan of chicken liver tho…but if it's common fowl i like these parts curried dry with dhal and rice yummmmmmy!

    • Philis
      November 29, 2010 / 8:01 pm

      @Sandy I batter fry spicy liver, really nice

  56. Philis
    November 27, 2010 / 9:09 pm

    I love this dish, I sometimes add a dash of curry while seasoning.

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