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What Are Those Things In My Chicken?

butcherWhen you purchase a chicken, they typically will come with a small bag of innards that most individuals don’t think twice about throwing out. However, ask your butcher, and they can tell you that those gross looking things in the chicken are quite useful. Those innards are called giblets. They include select pieces from the inside of the chicken that could get used for a variety of things.

The giblets include:

  • The heart
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • The gizzard
  • The neck (on occasion)

While you may have heard of the gizzard and thought it was the term for the giblets, you know better now. Most of these pieces are pretty self-explanatory except for the gizzard. A gizzard is a muscle that helps the bird grind up food where they don’t have teeth to help them out. So, you get multiple parts of the chicken you are consuming that can be used rather than just thrown out.

Giblets are typically used to create stock. Adding them to water, along with the carcass and simmering for a few hours, will allow the flavor to get infused into the water. Making chicken stock is a crucial skill to have in the kitchen. Chicken stock can get used in a multitude of dishes, including soups, and add an extra level of flavor to any dish that you cook.

Another thing that some do with the edible giblets is to either save them to have enough for a meal or to cook them right away. You can create some highly nutritious meals or snacks with fried or roasted giblets that you get from the chicken. It is a way to make up for an extra meal or an after school snack.

Gravy is another main thing that uses giblets. When added with the drippings from the bird itself, the sauce makes the meal for some individuals. While you don’t want to have the fat from the dripping, it is important to skim that off when you pour the drippings into a measuring cup. If you do make a gravy from home, you will be making a stock as well as the juice. It will be used to make sure that the dressing maintains incredible flavor and won’t be too thick over the meat. Also be prepared to remove the giblets if you aren’t quite ready to eat them yet. Those that are a little adventurous could use the giblets in the gravy for a little extra kick!

Some store chickens won’t have the giblets with it, so that is why it is useful to see your butcher and ensure that you get everything that is supposed to come with the chicken. While giblets are not the most fantastic thing to use from the chicken, they can be used to create flavorful stocks and gravies.

Come stop in and see our selection of chicken, including natural hormone free chicken or our selection of organic smart chickens. We will make sure you know what you can do with your chicken and the giblets.