Monday, July 11, 2011
Chicken Hearts....appetizer, or main course?
I'm stil making chicken liver pate regularly so I sent Mark down to the Farmers' Market to pick up the livers....he came back with 2 lbs of livers and 1 lb of chicken hearts too! I've eaten....oh goodness for lack of a nicer name, pig heart, but I didn't cook it, and at the end of the day it just didn't "sit" well in my mind or tummy (same for sushi btw!) I'm all for giving things another chance so I went online to see if I could find a recipe to guide me on how to use these hearts.
This is what I like about the one I decided to try.
It suggested brining the hearts for 3 hours in a salt/sugar solution.....well, I knew that was going to be a winner. Since chicken hearts are very small, brining them for 3 hours was no problem. Everything I read about the actual cooking of chicken hearts was to use a fast cooking method like grilling, pan fry, stir fry, etc. A total cooking time of 3-4 minutes...wow that's quick!
A salad made the most sense. All I had was baby greens, a baby zucchini, and shitake mushrooms. After I dried off the brined hearts I quickly pan fried them in a tbl of olive oil. I also gave the mushrooms a quick stir fry in another tbl of oil. The zucchini I sliced paper thin with a mandoline and left it raw to wilt with the greens in the dressing. I cut the hearts in half, tossed the salad with a little more oil and red wine vinegar. After I took this quick photo I ended up crumbling a bit of blue cheese on top. (this made two salads with a few hearts leftover)
I love this idea of brining, and it seasoned the meat perfectly. It was super easy and I think it'll work great with chicken breast also. Personally, although the salad was super tasty and packed with flavor and nutrition, it wasn't quite satisfying. Lesson? I think these little nuggets would make a great appetizer, but not a main course.
For chicken hearts
1 qt cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1 1/2 lb chicken hearts, visible arteries trimmed
Brine refrigerated for up to 3 hours. Remove from brine, pat dry before cooking. (do not save brining liquid)
Have you had, would you eat, do you like hearts? If so in what way do you use them?