Walk into a fried chicken stand in the Southern United States and you’re bound to see a variety of chicken organs on the menu, with the most popular offal dish being the fried chicken gizzards.
What is a gizzard exactly? It’s a thick, muscular organ in a bird’s digestive tract that helps them grind up food. Like many other traditional Southern dishes, the fried chicken gizzard finds its roots in African cuisine. Today, it still draws devotees to gas station cafes, locally owned shops, and popular chain restaurants across the South.
Being that this fried dish is mostly muscle, it’s described as tasting like rich, dark meat with a slightly chewy texture. Often, the gizzards will appear twisted after being fried. When ordering this dish, you’ll typically find them served up as a side in conjunction with white bread, fried chicken, and pickled jalapeños.
While the idea of eating a gizzard might not seem appealing, don’t overlook this Southern favorite, as you might find your new favorite gas station snack.
Need to Know
Best left up to the professionals or the seasoned Southern cook, preparing your own fried chicken gizzards is not for the faint of heart. If you're choosing to prepare it yourself, go to your local butcher to buy the gizzards rather than going through the dirty process of removing them yourself. Also, the gizzard is quite a tough muscle so be sure to fry it up properly.
Where to Try It
Miami Made Fish and Chicken217 New Franklin Road, LaGrange, Georgia, 30240, United States
This restaurant specializes in traditional Southern favorites. Don't expect swift service, as they're frying up freshly prepared meals to order.
Lemon Peppers2701 NW 54th St, Miami, Florida, 33142, United States
Gizzards get the deep-fryer treatment at this no-frills chicken joint.