Saute’d Chicken Hearts with Cumin & Lemon

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Last year I tried chicken hearts for the first time. It was during our vacation in Israel that I experienced the true beauty of this delicacy. Although most folks may not find offal to be the most wondrous thing around, for me I am continuously pushing myself and trying to figure out just how much I can stomach. I’ve tried a lot of animal parts but I have to say that my hands down favorite is heart. I heart (<3)  heart.

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Chicken hearts, and chicken guts in general are the mildest organ meats you can find. Organ meats are ideal, traditional foods that people have been consuming practically forever. The health benefits go on and on but the highlighted nutrients are magnesium, folate and iron. Although the nutrient density is a little lower in chicken heart in comparison to let’s say … beef heart, there are still benefits to getting these little gems on your plate.

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Good To Know …. 

  • Chicken hearts are the perfect “gateway offal.” With chicken hearts you can get a mild taste for offal without diving in too deep. It tastes like a richer, slightly skanky (gamy) chicken thigh. The texture is not terrible or smooshy at all and the taste is mild enough that it can pretty much go entirely undetected. I’m not kidding … seriously! 
  • Chicken hearts can be used just like you would use chicken thighs. Try burrito’s, curry, stir fry or even barbecue! You can blend chicken hearts with chicken breasts and/or thighs so that there is a mixture of white and dark meat. Why bother you ask? Nutrient Density.

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Saute’d Chicken Hearts with Cumin and Lemon

  • One Pound of Chicken Hearts, trimmed and rinsed under cold water (see note)
  • A few teaspoons of Oil For Frying
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin 
  • Celtic Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  1. Toss trimmed and rinsed chicken hearts with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and a tablespoon of lemon juice. 
  2. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. (You can rest them on the counter so they are closer to room temperature. Cold meat seizes up and becomes too chewy.)
  3. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, (a drop of water will make it pop) add chicken hearts to the pan.
  5. Stir to prevent sticking and to help them cook evenly.
  6. Saute’ for 2-3 minutes. They really do not take very long.  Avoid over cooking them! They are finished when they are slightly firm. If you cut one open and it looks just a little teensy bit raw still then they are done! (the heat will continue to cook them as they rest)
  7. Garnish with parsley and more fresh lemon juice.

-Serve with your favorite flat bread, homemade hummus and tahina…. or hot sauce and a fork!

Note: To trim chicken hearts you mostly just want to remove the extra fat. It is edible for sure, but it will carry a richer taste and it will prevent even cooking.

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