Monday, July 11, 2011

Coronary Cuisine

Chicken hearts might be as dense and chewy as a pink eraser, but they aren't without their charm.  They boast a pronounced avian musk with deep, dark-meat flavors that you can't find anywhere else.  Chicken hearts are surprisingly rich, and the bold poultry overtones are quick to satiate. While fun for the few bites, after about three you'll start handing them off to the cat, for sure.

Trim up the hearts, removing any exposed ventricles.  Try not to remove too much of the fat, they are lean and will dry out otherwise.  Thread no more than three chicken hearts per skewer. You can skewer the smaller ones whole, but I'd butterfly the larger ones to promote even cooking.  Soaking the skewers for an hour beforehand will prevent them for charring, and using two skewers per "kebab" allows for better control when turning.

Season with olive oil, salt and a bold spice, like garam masala for up to an hour before hitting the flame.  Cook over medium-high heat, for about three minutes each side.  Nothing you can do will make them tender, so don't even bother getting fancy. 

Soaking the hearts in a brine over night will impart flavor and help keep them moist while on the grill:

Sweet Spice Brine

1 qt water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 TBS sugar
4 cardamon pods
1 piece cinnamon
1 tsp whole clove

  1. combine all ingredients. stir until the sugar and salt has dissolved.  pour over chicken hearts and refrigerate overnight.

© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -


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