WHAT IS A CHICKEN HEART?
This muscle while smaller in size beats up to 4 times faster then a normal human heart. It has 4 chambers much like a human heart with smoother ventricles to minimize friction under the higher pressure. While this bird’s heart is technically not considered offal, it’s labeled as such. Offal is defined as the edible parts of the animal that do not come from skeletal muscle. While the heart is a muscle, it isn’t skeletal in nature. Dense thanks to the incredible strain put on it daily, it’s also a great source of protein, folic acid, iron and vitamin A. Flavor-wise it tastes like dark meat but tougher and with a more metallic taste. Check out this recipe here! And remember, hearts are also a popular ingredient in pet food.
WHERE IS THIS CUT LOCATED?
Just like with most animals this muscle is located in the center of the animal’s chest behind the breast bone.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN A CHICKEN HEART?
Make sure to rinse and clean the organ thoroughly to avoid any contamination that can occur during the slaughtering and packing process. While their small stature makes this look difficult, it’s not. Click here to see! Some chefs will soak this muscle in a mixture of water and sake to moderate its gaminess.
WHAT RECIPES WORK WELL WITH THIS CUT?
Unlike the hearts of larger animals like cows that need to be slow-cooked over a long period of time, chicken hearts are ideal for grilling or a quick pan fry. While the idea of a bunch of little hearts on a stick might sound like a Valentine’s Day nightmare, it’s a classic staple in Brazilian churrasco cuisine! Or much like with chicken necks, the heart meat can be boiled in about an hour on low heat.