Nigerian Peppered Gizzards
When I was very young, I was made to believe that women and children would get sick if they ate gizzards. This is because this part of the chicken, refered to as nze-nze in Igbo is so revered where I come from that only the heads of families (the men) are supposed to eat it.
Infact one has to be extremely careful when cutting off this special part from the chicken's insides. You don't want to mistakenly cut off any part of the gizzard thereby ruining the nze-nze.
Fast forward to my late adolescent years and I found that this part of the chicken can be enjoyed by all and sundry without any consequences. I sincerely hope that the elders from my village are not reading this! :)
Now Peppered Gizzards are part of the popular Nigerian Small Chops family so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this at most Nigerian parties. But you don't have to wait for the next owambe to enjoy this snack.
It is so simple to make and gizzards are unbelieveably cheap that when I think about all the chickens a small quantity of gizzards came from, I feel they should cost more.
Ingredients for Nigerian Peppered Gizzards
- 500g (1.1 lbs) chicken gizzards
- 3 habanero peppers (or to your taste)
- 2 medium onions
- 1 big stock cube
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Tool you'll need: toothpicks for serving.
Notes about the ingredients
500g gave me about 20 gizzards. The gizzards I see where I live are quite small compared to the gizzards in Nigerian chickens lol.
Be careful about the quantity of seasoning you add to gizzards. They can easily get overseasoned and taste salty because the meat does not absorb much of the ingredients.
Before you make Your Peppered Gizzards
Ensure that the inside skins of the gizzards are peeled off, then wash and place them in a pot.
Cut the onions into big chunks.
Pound or blitz the peppers (no water).
Marinate the gizzards with the seasonings if you want. I do not marinate gizzards because it does not make any difference. Gizzards have a rubbery texture so the marinade does not really penetrate the meat. For me, it is just like trying to marinate shaki or kidney.
Making the Peppered Gizzards
Add the stock cube, the thyme and big chunks of onions into the gizzards. If you marinated them, just add the onions.
Pour water to just under the level of the gizzards and start cooking at medium heat. This quantity of water will dry up by the time the gizzards are well done.
When the gizzards are well done, remove the big chunks of onions.
Increase the heat to high and stir constantly till all the remaining liquid in the pot is absorbed. You don't want to lose any flavour by pouring away the gizzard stock.
Add salt to taste and stir very well.
Lay the gizzards flat in a baking bowl.
Grill in an oven at 170°C or 338°F till the top side is dry and brown. Turn them and grill the underside too till dry and brown. If you don't have an oven, just deep-fry them.
Heat the vegetable oil in another pot.
Add the pepper and the grilled/deep-fried gizzards.
Stir very well till the pepper is evenly distributed on the gizzards. The vegetable oil ensures that this happens and gives the grilled gizzards a nice glow.
That's it! Insert toothpicks and serve.
If you are hosting a party, place them in a flat tray and put out with other small chops and snacks for your guests to enjoy. They will surely be oohing and aahing either from the yummy taste or from all that pepper LOL.