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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chicken Hearts with Cabbage Fried Rice

So, I stumbled upon some chicken hearts the other day at my local supermarket while waiting in line for just salad and green onions.  The person before and after me had them in their basket, and I must have said out loud "wow I be that's insanely delicious..." which is not unusual for me to say to myself out loud.
Lucky for me, the person behind me actually answered my self comment.  He was either Vietnamese, Cambodian, or Laos (I still don't have it down pat) but with his wife, they seemed to know exactly what they were talking about.  He saved my spot in line while I quickly ran over to the meat section to buy the absolute last saturday night chicken hearts in the aisle.  He then explained to me in detail (to the utter exhaustion of the cashier) how to prepare them, that they are not tough, but rather tender, and are best grilled or pan fried and paired with shallots.
Be still my hearts.. and rock my world.
The best part is that they are very healthy.  Any heart is good for the heart, and they are almost dirt cheap (for meat).  My ginger chile garlic concoctions of late have quickly and efficiently kicked my cold out of my body, and now this is perfect to strengthen that important little muscle trapped in my cage soon to find itself in a straight jacket all next week, dying to breathe again. 
Serves 2
Chicken Hearts
150-200g (around 1/2 lb) chicken hearts, quartered lengthwise and rinsed
4 small or 2 normal shallots, sliced crosswise
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp black vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Cabbage Fried Rice
2 Tbsp oil
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 slit green chile
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup cooked rice
2 eggs
1 green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp black vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon
few cracks green pepper
Thai chile
chopped green onions
chopped cilantro
Sriracha sauce
few drops sesame oil

1.  Make the marinade for the chicken hearts by stirring all the ingredients together.  Place the sliced hearts into the marinade and refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour.  Do this either in the morning or as the first step before prepping all the other ingredients.
2.  Make the cabbage fried rice.  Heat the oil in a wok and add the carrots.  Cook stirring for 1-2 minutes, then add the cabbage and chile.  Cook, stirring until cabbage is tender, about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cooked rice.  Heat through, stirring and making sure the rice is well coated.  When ready, push everything to the sides of the wok to make space for the eggs.  Crack the eggs into the center of the wok and let simmer and bubble.  Stir lightly in the center to break the yolks and spread out the egg.  When you can stir and the eggs break apart into pieces, stir in the rest from the side to make a homogenous mixture.
Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes, then add the green onions, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper.  
3.  During the "off" time of the cabbage fried rice, cook the chicken hearts.  Heat the oil in a wok and add the shallots.  Cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes, then add the marinated chicken hearts.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir and let cook another 2-3 minutes.
Serve the chicken hearts with the cabbage fried rice garnished with a few droplets of sesame oil, chopped cilantro, and chopped green onions.  I added a Thai chile to my plate and a  drizzle of Sriracha for extra red hot heart thumping.

I cannot believe how tender these were.  If I had not cooked them myself, I would never have guessed they were organs.  I've tasted liver (other than fois gras) gizzards (other than confit) and kidneys (rognons) and they do taste very much like organs, which isn't something I go crazy for.  These are very soft and meaty without that extra gamey strange taste.  The best part is that any heart you eat will nourish your own...except any of that Hannibal nonsense.

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1 comment:

  1. The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing