I know. I probably just lost half my readership with that title. Why are people so down on chicken gizzards. Sure, if they’re not cooked right, they’re like eating big, chunky rubber pencil erasers. But if they are cooked right …………. gizzards can be heavenly!
I decided it was time to try making this old favorite for the canning jar. I’ve eaten it dozens of times cooked in a crock pot, served over hot white rice … but I’ve never heard of anyone trying anything like it in a canning jar. Have no fear … I don’t take that as a sign that it can’t be done. I take that as a challenge 8)
I’ve got some experience under my belt now canning savory foods with sauces and/or gravies made with Clear Jel®–beef and chicken pot pie fillings, beef stew, even pork & beans–and I’ve been very pleased with the results so far. It also didn’t take much to convert that experience to the job at hand.
I grabbed one of my handy shaker bags, then started out using Clear Jel® as my base. I then seasoned the Clear Jel®–heavily–with poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, powdered chicken bullion, and then garlic and onion powder, too, mixing it well before adding my chicken gizzards to the bag. Why do I say I seasoned it HEAVILY? That’s easy. The seasoning in the dredge will be the only seasoning I’ll use in the entire jar … so it’s going to have to season the gizzards … and everything else I add to them, too. It NEEDS to be heavily seasoned to do that.
I let my gizzards sit/soak in the dredge for about a half hour, just to let the dredge build up a thick coating on the outside of each piece. That thick coating will be important later when there’s gravy to be made
Once the dredge had gelled into a thick coating on each damp gizzard, I deep-fried each piece in a little canola oil.
Since oil is NOT the best thing on the planet for the rubber seals on canning lids, I drained my gizzards on doubled paper towels once they were nicely browned … just to remove any unnecessary excess oil.
Yes, as you can tell from the next picture … I browned them really well! And, yes, that’s probably made my gizzards really tough at this point, too. That’s what happens when you cook them that long … but that’s okay on both counts. In fact, that’s really optimum on both counts … for a couple of reasons. One, browning them imparts that great fried flavor … and two, they WILL soften as they go through that extended pressure canning cycle … so making them a little tougher now will hopefully give them a little more texture later.
I started each jar out with some sliced fresh onions–approx. 1/2 cup–then loaded my fried gizzards in on top. I also added about a teaspoon of my seasoned Clear Jel® dredge to each jar, too … before filling each jar up with boiling water, leaving a one-inch headspace. Then I processed them according to the NCHFP’s instructions for canning chicken.
Yes, the fried coating on the outside of the gizzards is going to melt while they can, thickening the water into gravy. I added the extra Clear Jel® so that it would be REALLY nice, thick, and–as most ‘in the jar’ gravies go–very smooth and creamy, despite not stirring it once as it cans.
My final product!
As you can see, the gravy is nice and brownish–thanks to the nice browning I gave my gizzards–and it’s thick and creamy, too. I haven’t opened a jar yet … but from the way they smelled while they were frying … it’s going to ROCK! … but I’ll be sure to come back once I get an actual taste to tell you how they came out!