Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Chicken Hearts and Liver -They really are delicious and healthy too!
Now don't make a disgusted look with your face when you read that title. Chicken hearts and liver are extremely tasty and are actually one of my family's favorite meals. I make this dish every week. My two year old loves both and it's an excellent way to get extra iron and protein in him. We started feeding our son liver around the age of one and he's been hooked ever since. I love that he loves food like this.
If you're acquainted to the typical beef liver and onions dish that many people grew up with, you might not have the fondest memories of eating liver. Frankly, I'm really not a fan of beef liver with onions. Although I do like beef liver when prepared certain ways, there is no doubt that it has a strong flavor. I started eating liver regularly when I was pregnant with my son. I was doing my best to keep my iron levels up because I had encountered anemia issues in the past and I didn't want to have to go on an iron supplement. I started eating liver once to twice a week and I've never had an iron issue since.
In the past I always ate beef liver until my lovely meat farmer, Linda from Farm on Wheels, introduced me to chicken liver (and duck and goose liver too). She told me it had a much milder flavor than beef liver and generally people (especially children) found it more palatable. Well, who isn't for that? So I gave it a whirl and loved it. Around the same time we also had begun eating beef heart. That started because I was trying to find the cheapest cuts of meat possible since we were on an extremely tight budget (the heart was only about $3 a pound). After getting past the initial strangeness of eating heart, we realized we really loved it. Once again it was only natural to go ahead and try chicken hearts. Beef heart is great, but chicken hearts are awesome!
Okay, so if you are still a little leery about trying these two items perhaps their health benefits might persuade you to do so. If you aren't familiar with some of these vitamins and minerals, click their name and you'll be taken to a link with more information on them.
Beef and chicken heart are a good source of protein, CoQ10 (check out this article CoEnzyme Q10 for Healthy Hearts), riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, zinc, selenium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper and manganese.
Beef and chicken liver are a good source of thiamin, zinc, copper and manganese, and a very good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
How I Prepare Chicken Heart and Liver
As far as a recipe goes, sorry there isn't one, at least not a specific one with everything measured out. My favorite way to prepare chicken heart and liver is with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. It's easy, simple and delicious. I occasionally also toss the liver with a little flour with the salt, garlic and onion powder mixed in -- just enough to coat it.
To cook them, heat over medium to medium-high heat a couple teaspoons of oil in a heavy skillet. I like to use coconut or olive oil and my cast iron skillet. First toss in your chicken hearts and cook them for 3-4 minutes or until they are beginning to brown.
Then add your liver and cook them 5-10 minutes more or until they are no longer pink inside.
Serve immediately and enjoy!