I bought a kilo of chicken hearts this week for a silly price.
Half the hearts were marinated and scorched on the grill,
while the other half became a delicious Spanish stew.
I appreciate that many people are turned off by offal, but hearts are low in calories, contain lots of iron, selenium and zinc, along with several types of vitamin B. These B vitamins protect against high blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. On top of this, hearts have a mild flavour and a yielding rubbery texture like squid or octopus. lending themselves to spicy stews and slow cooking.
Corazones de Pollo Guisados (serves 2):
500g chicken hearts
1 large onion (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
8 medium mushrooms (chopped)
1 medium tomato (grated)
a level teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pimetón de la Vera picante
1 teaspoon pimetón de la Vera dulce
a pinch of crushed chipotle chilli
2 bay leaves
a heaped teaspoon of chopped parsley and a little extra for garnish
a squirt of anchovy paste
a teaspoon of cornflour (called cornstarch in America)
1 glass dry white wine
a cup of chicken stock
a splash of sherry vinegar
lashings of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Clean the chicken hearts, chop the tops off and brown them in olive oil – while doing so sprinkle with ground cumin and a little salt. When the hearts have taken some colour, remove them to a plate.
Gently poach the onion in the same olive oil – add more if necessary.
When the onion is soft, add the garlic and grate the tomato on top.
Stir in the green pepper and mushrooms.
Return the chicken hearts to the dish.
Mix in the pimentón, a pinch of chipotle or other crushed chilli and a squirt of anchovy paste.
Pour on the stock, wine and sherry vinegar.
Add the bay leaves, sprinkle with parsley and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until the hearts are tender. Don’t overcook the stew, the hearts won’t thank you for it! When ready, mix a teaspoon of cornflour with 3 or 4 teaspoons of the cooking liquid (in a small cup or bowl) and stir it back into the chicken livers to thicken the sauce.
Check the seasoning and serve with fried potatoes, pasta or rice and a glass of Corazón Loco Blanco, made with Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo grapes, from Manchuela DO.
Absolutely no problems with offal here ! Coming from a Baltic heritage liver and kidneys especially were regarded as gastronomic gold . . . I would still far rather eat those or calves tongue or tripe or sweetbreads than boring old steak 🙂 ! Admittedly many here in Australia do turn up their noses and most innards are not available at supermarkets. Funny you should post about chicken hearts as I saw such being used marinated and grilled on sticks on a British food show only last night ! That said shall phone my local butcher on Monday . . . I have not seen or used chicken hearts here but if I can access such would love to try your recipe soonest . . .
Thanks Eha – I always wonder where they go. You can get hearts from most butchers here, but not supermarkets. Chicken is probably the most popular Sunday roast, but it doesn’t come with offal – you buy a whole bird and then have to pay extra for the giblets to make gravy!
*laughing* An extra ‘thank you’ ! Asked by supermarket about ‘giblets’ – what exactly did they contain ? Well: hearts, livers, necks – unavailable this week . . . but I was offered wing tips for $A3.50 a KILO instead . . . won’t they make superb chicken stock at virtually no cost !!!
heart of darkness.. brilliant xx
Never get off the boat! X
I have always loved sweetbreads. My parents, both raised on farms, ate lots of offal, but the afore mentioned were all I would try in childhood. Never the brains, tongues or Mama’s favorite, liver & onions. My old dog Luc relished the hearts & livers I cooked for him in his decline. But I never tasted any of it. So I thought I would skip this post, Mad, but then, you grabbed me & I just kept reading. I love all those flavors, & squid & octopus especially & I could benefit from the health giving qualities of hearts. I can find them in the grocery store where I often shop which caters to Latinos & will try this out soon on my son who is usually up for an adventurous dish. And he has always been a big fan of squid & octopus & ordered hem in childhood whenever they were on a menu. Thank you for the temptation to try chicken hearts. (A big old beef heart might still be a bridge to far for me.)
Thanks Judith and how brilliant to hear that I’ve tempted you! If you like them, beef heart is quite different. It’s best sliced thin and marinated, then grilled quickly on a barbecue – it comes out quite steak like and is fabulous served in a bun with walnut pickle.
Well, thanks, Mad, for the suggestions for beef heart. I haven’t tasted walnut pickle for yrs. & yrs. I liked it then. I definitely didn’t like horse meat “bifteck” in France. Why not real beef steak in the first place? I rarely eat red meat these days & probably won’t make adventurous choices when I do crave it. But your preparation is quite interesting – to read anyway. I’ll ask my son if he would ever try beef heart & barbecue it for us just once……out of curiosity to taste it. If we do, I’ll let you know.
Fantastic! I was very pleasantly surprised, the first time I tried beef heart – it can be quite tender when cooked fast.
Judith – do you remember Vincent Price, the actor ? He and his beloved wife Mary wrote my favourite cookery book ! – Now – take 1/3 sliced onions, 1/3 finely sliced and peeled apples and 1/3 chicken livers in one piece – cook each in a little butter/oil, just a few minutes for the livers . . . add S&P and a bit of paprika or thyme or any spice you know and like > combine and put it atop potato mash or rice or whatever you like . . . you will LOVE the dish !!! Berlin-style chicken livers . . .
I do. I even saw his earliest movies, but I really remember him giving me the creeps in The Fly & House Of Wax. I can even still hear his distinctive villain’s voice. I knew he was a great art collector & connoisseur, but I didn’t know about his reputation as a gourmand or his cookbook. I will check it out for my overloaded shelf. The only way I’ve eaten chicken livers till now is in gravy & my dear French friend’s annual Christmas gift of her divine pâté with chicken livers, subtle spices, whipped cream & cognac. Thank you, Eha, for enlightening me & for the recipe, which I will try on your recommend.
I have no idea what they do with chicken hearts here. Even when you buy a whole chicken, it has lost all of its accessories so to speak.
Hi Karen – quite honestly, I feel a bit cheated!