I cracked open a jar today for lunch … I couldn’t wait!
Here’s how my jars came out by the time they’d cooled the next day. As you can kinda see, there is a little bit of separated moisture at the top of the jar … that concerned me initially, thinking it might be oil leftover from frying my gizzards.
However, once I got the jar opened, I realized it was just a bit of liquid that had separated itself from the Clear Jel® gravy below. As you can see from what’s covering the spoon, the Clear Jel® made a beautiful gravy in the jar with the gizzards and onions.
To serve, I just steamed a little white rice I had in the freezer, then mixed the contents of my jar into the same pan, heating till it was all simmering nicely.
Wow! I’m really impressed with what came back out of the jar in my first canned gizzard experiment! As I’d hoped, the gizzards themselves were butter soft, much like the texture I always got cooking them in the crock pot. They cut easily with the side of your spoon, and–in your mouth–they were very soft and tender, almost like eating fresh, hot, very juicy dark meat that’s just come out of the oven/fryer. I was concerned before I tried it that the muscular parts of the gizzard would get tender, but that the connective parts–the parts that are so chewy/rubbery normally–would just stay that way…or, gawd forbid, get chewier in all that heat…but it was like they simply melted away, leaving just the muscular part of the gizzard behind.
Flavor-wise, I still need to work on them a little. I tried to sneak up on the seasoning from below, and–because of that same old problem with ‘chicken funk’ being magnified in the jar through pressure canning–I didn’t season them enough. I forgot the fundamental guideline of canning savories: in most cases, you usually need at least a half-teaspoon of salt per pint of savory food–a teaspoon for a quart–in order to make it taste like it’s been salted at all. People on low-salt diets and who prefer lighter seasonings may choose to use less, but–on average–that’s pretty average for us. However, I probably only used a quarter teaspoon in total in the jar, and gravy/meat are just two things that are just really hard to season after they’re cooked. Plus, let’s be honest here … gizzards do have a somewhat funky/strange taste to them, too … so that got magnified in the jar as well. It’s not something that made it inedible (not at all! … I ate every bite!) but it is something that I do want to try to cover up a little, too … just to make them taste more like fried chicken in gravy/less like boiled gizzards the next time.
Oh, and I think I’m also going to fry the onions next time, too … rather than stick them in the jar raw. I think that will add an excellent layer of flavor to the overall dish.
So, final score on the canned chicken gizzards and onion gravy experiment is a solid B! And I’ll bet I can make them rate an A next time