Chicken hearts are a tasty organ meat that are meaty and tender, if you know how to cook them the right way. If you live in an area where you can buy chicken hearts by the pound and you are buying a lot of hearts, your best bet is to simmer them. If you are cooking only a few hearts that came in the giblet bag with your chicken, then you can pan fry the hearts. Below are instructions for both methods of cooking.
Simmered Chicken Hearts
Simmering chicken hearts is the easiest way to cook them. All you need to do is get the pot of chicken hearts started, then you can practically forget about them and let them simmer until they are nice and tender. Start by rinsing the chicken hearts well. Then put them in a large enough pot so the hearts only fill the pot half way. Add enough water to the pot to cover the hearts with about 2 inches of water.
Put the covered pot on the burner and turn the burner on high. While waiting for the pot to boil, you can add whatever seasonings you want to add to the pot. You might want to add a couple cloves of garlic or a whole onion cut into quarters. You can also add salt and pepper to taste.
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When the water comes to a full boil, stir the hearts and turn the heat down to medium low or low. Put the cover back on leaving a crack for steam and let the pot simmer. Check the pot in a few minutes to make sure it is indeed simmering. You want just a low simmer with some bubbles.
Once the pot is on simmer, you can put the lid back on fully. Let the hearts simmer for about 2 hours. Check the hearts every 30 minutes or so to see if they are still simmering or if they need more water. If the hearts are not simmering to hard or not enough, adjust the heat. If you have to add water, boil some water then add a cup or two of the boiling water. Adding cold water to the pot will stop the simmering process.
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After two hours of simmering, check a heart by cutting it in half. It should be very easy to cut. Let it cool a bit then taste it. The heart should be very tender. If it’s not, simmer the hearts a bit longer and check again in 30 minutes.
Pan Fried Chicken Hearts
If you only have a few chicken hearts to cook, you can pan fry them. Add a bit of butter to a small frying pan and heat the pan just until the pan is hot and the butter melts and starts to bubble a bit. Add your chicken hearts to the pan, cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat down to medium or low and let the hearts cook for about 30 minutes. You can also add onion or garlic to the hearts and you can season with salt and pepper to taste. After 30 minutes, check one heart to see if it is tender. If not, cook a bit longer.