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Most of us can drum up a delicious chicken leg dish or whiz up some wings, but what would you do with chicken necks or gizzards? If you said ‘chuck ’em out!’, well,  just step away from the bin for a moment and find out about what creative cooks around the world are doing with these often overlooked but supremely tasty cuts.

Chicken Necks – The Forgotten Treasures

Though often underappreciated, chicken necks offer a surprising range of possibilities in the kitchen and can be a cost-effective ingredient to incorporate into your culinary repertoire. Chicken necks are rich in protein, and because they are naturally high in chondroitin and glucosamine, they’re handy for supporting joint health and mobility. 

From gracing the grill to simmering in a hearty stew or undergoing a delicious metamorphosis into crispy snacks, these unassuming cuts can be transformed into all sorts of delicious dishes. Next time you have some chicken necks on hand, don’t let them go to waste. Embrace their versatility, try these ideas, and experience a whole new gastronomic experience.

The best way to prepare chicken necks is by cooking them through either boiling, grilling, or frying, ensuring that the necks are fully cooked, tender and tasty.

Just like your other favourite chicken cuts, necks can be marinated before cooking for extra taste and tenderness. They are great in stews and curries, as this process tends to take care of any toughness. Chicken necks are also ideal for building deeply-flavoured stocks, soups and gravies.

Chicken Gizzards – The Culinary Marvels

Chicken gizzards. While they could probably do with a new name, they’re nowhere near as scary as they sound. In fact, they can be quite delicious and offer some significant nutritional benefits, too.

The gizzard is a small, muscular organ found in the digestive tract of the chicken. This cut is super lean and packed with essential vitamins like Vitamin B12 (which promotes cognitive function and immune health), niacin (good for circulation and hormone production) and riboflavin, known to boost skin and hair health.

Gizzards have a unique flavour, similar to dark chicken meat, and a chewy texture that responds best to slow cooking methods. Before including gizzards in your favourite recipe, you should thoroughly rinse them in cold water, and it is best to saute or boil them to ensure they are fully cooked through once they are served. Otherwise, feel free to braise, pickle, barbecue, slow-cook, deep-fry or otherwise incorporate them into your tried and true chicken repertoire.

Creative Cooking Techniques

Chicken gizzards and necks are among the most cost-effective cuts you can find, making them ideal for budget-friendly meals that are nutritious and delicious. Their affordability is a big reason they feature in so many of the world’s cuisines.

Grilled gizzards are a popular Southeast Asian street food. Gizzards are also featured in the cuisine of the Southern United States, served deep-fried with hot sauce or tossed into gumbo.  

Chicken necks are a popular inclusion in Japanese yakitori dishes. Italian cooks stuff and bake them. Gordon Ramsay even includes them in his Christmas turkey recipe.

Overcoming Preconceptions

Despite their affordability, health benefits, rich flavour and potential for culinary creativity, chicken necks and gizzards are frequently dismissed or overlooked. It’s time to challenge these preconceptions and embrace the sustainable and delicious potential these cuts offer. Far from being mere scraps, chicken necks and gizzards can elevate dishes with their distinctive textures and flavour profiles. With proper seasoning and cooking techniques, these underrated cuts can become culinary delights, winning over even the most sceptical palates. 

By embracing less popular cuts, you can not only save money but help reduce food waste, not to mention discover new possibilities in the kitchen.

As with every product in Chicken and Things’ fresh poultry range, our chicken necks and gizzards are top-quality cuts and can be delivered directly to your front door. So you can step outside your culinary comfort zone without even leaving the house!

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