There is a local place that cooks amazing fried chicken gizzards. Somehow they are really tender, and yet the breading on them is still crispy. Every time I try to make them they turn out extremely chewy. What could their secret possibly be?

I have tried getting really fresh (never frozen) gizzards from local farms, but I still can't cook them right!

  • I tried boiling the gizzards as directed from few an they still cam out tough an chewy after frying.... somehow , I was wandering if the tendons were the problem they stay chewy
    – user10506
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 2:26

5 Answers 5


According to my grandmother, chicken gizzards should be parboiled before being breaded for frying. She suggests a 10- to 15-minute parboil (clean your gizzards, put them in a pot, fill the pot with cold water until the gizzards are just covered, and time the parboil from the moment you achieve a hard boil). She also suggests thoroughly cooling and drying the gizzards before breading them.


In order to get them tender as most restaurants, you would need a pressure cooker that will get them even more tender than boiling; also, braising then simmering works well.

After you either pressure cook, boil, or braise, I recommend cooling them in buttermilk for at least 2 hours; adding a little vinegar to the whole milk works. The milk and the vinegar will help break down some of the tough tissues, and pull out some of the gamy taste that things like gizzard, heart and other organs have.

Next, make your breaded seasoning, and toss them in breading and fry; 350° F is optimal frying temperature for almost everything.

  • 1
    My grandmother swore by the buttermilk soak, so it warms my heart to see it as an answer here at Cooking.SE. Commented May 8, 2012 at 21:07
  • Could anything be used a substitute for buttermilk? Heavy cream?
    – mdegges
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 3:55
  • @mdeggas - cream + vinegar. The tenderizing magic in buttermilk is its' slightly acid pH
    – Graham T
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 16:25

Chicken gizzards are pretty tough, and unless prepared correctly will almost certainly turn out a little 'chewy' My advise would be to use a combination of marinading and simmering in water for before coating in the crumb and frying.

For the marinade you can choose whichever ingredients you feel comfortable with, but as an idea, use salt, pepper, perhaps a herb mix, minced garlic, chilli sauce or soy sauce etc. You can marinade before or after simmering, I believe after is better.

To simmer, place gizzards in a pan and cover with cold water make sure the water is a least 2 to 3cm above the gizzards. Add an onion and bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil then cover and simmer for 2 to 2 and half hours. Add more hot water if needed. Once done, let cool slightly, add to the marinade and refrigerate for about an hour. At this point you're ready to fry.

Coat the gizzards in whichever bread mix you choose by shaking together in a sealed plastic bag. then fry in plenty of hot oil, in small batches.


Make a stock as the one used for the risotto with saffron (but you can omit the saffron). Put the gizzards in the pan and pour some broth in it. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat; add broth when needed.


The only true way to make tenderized deep fried battered gizzards is to steam them first before batter frying. Boiling only partially tenderizes and gives them an unpleasant texture. I added full recipe below. Nothing is as good as battered tender gizzards, you should fry some chicken livers with them.

UPDATE: Sorry I didn't give full directions, the question was asked how to tenderize deep fried gizzards? My answer was (Steam them)

Someone asked recipe and cook times, So I will update this response. Best batter for these is called Mies flour batter, I order mine from a company in Wisconsin. It's the best gizzard batter with browning agents and flavor enhancers, they sell this batter in bulk normally or to restaurants, but if you ask special they sold to me by the case.

Cooking and prep to fry 3-4 wet lbs gizzards:

Thaw the gizzards, then marinate them (this marinade will be washed off, no worries, you won't taste it). Take 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup tomato juice and add 1/2 teaspoon Paprika and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder then toss a few bay leaves into the ziplock bag with the marinade and refrigerate 30 hours or more. The vinegar and tomato juice break down the toughness, and the bay leaves take out the unwanted gamey flavors.

Strain the gizzards and rinse with cold water, and place in your household steamer (if you have one, if not get one, they're awesome to tenderize anything). Steam 15-35 minutes depending on your steamer, and rinse with cold water in your strainer again as soon as tender, test one every 15 minutes for perfection.

Add a prebatter in a bowl with a cup of water and 1/4 cup or so of Mies batter with some more Paprika, just thick enough to make the gizzards really sticky before you dip into the dry batter or shake in a bag of drye Mies, while you get 2 pots of oil heated to 400 degrees. You can improvise a strong dark ale beer instead of water if you prefer, (never ever make a batter with light beer, as it will give only an aluminum like taste, If you only have light beer to cook with, your best off using water instead.

When oil is ready, place gizzards in a lidded bucket or bag with your dry batter only after your oil has reached 400 degrees, shake into the batter, and drop as many as your oil pot fits without cramming them in to thick, give them room to cook. Let cook 3-4 minutes only in the 1st pot, then pull out and switch them quickly into the other pot that's still 400 degrees because the 1st pot dropped temperature from adding the cool gizzards in. Now in your second pot that you moved the gizzards to brown them fast, cook only 5 more minutes or until light golden brown because they are already fully cooked in the steamer. Don't overcook, these need to fry in 400 degrees to brown fast. Pull them and dump them out on fresh slices of bread to sop up the oil, and dip them in BBQ sauce and or your favorite hot sauce.

Now you have mastered perfect delicious deep fried tender melt in your mouth crispy deep fried gizzards. If you have a pressure fryer even better, but make do with what you have. Most people will not believe they were gizzards after they taste how tender and delicious. They will argue that its the best chicken nuggets they ever had, saying no way these are gizzards -- if you cooked them correctly! If oil temp is too low, and you overcook before browning, they will be chewy.

Also you should choose a good liquid creamy Shortening or lard, Beef lard from your local meet locker will make the best, or partially hydrogenated liquid shortening or partial hydrogenated soybean oil is the best if you mix with the lard. It's dirt cheap and creates the best homemade lard mix creamy liquid shortening. It will make any batter taste good and make the best french fries you will ever dream of. That oil will even prevent soggy batter, you can put your chicken leftovers in fridge and they will still be crispy the next day. Even a mix of beef lard and partially hydrogenated oil.

  • 2
    What does this answer add that other answers have not already pointed out?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 19:33
  • @Aaronut, "steam cook". None of the other answers (unless one's been deleted between you commenting and now) mention steaming =)
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 12:17
  • @Rob: It doesn't bother to explain why steam cooking them is useful or necessary or what the outcome would be, nor does it say anything specific about what that would imply (for example, how long?), and the "batter and fry" has been posted in all of the other answers. The question was asking for facts, not favourites.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 17:05
  • Thank's Rob, I SEEN YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STEAMING AND BOILING. I don't think Aaronut understood the answer or question, Anyway I updated and gave the full recipe and detailed instructions.
    – Tad
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 20:24
  • @Aaronut Like Rob stated The question was on how to tenderize deep fried gizzards. The answer I gave is steaming them first witch was not pointed out by anyone, and is not the same as boiling. However since you complained about my friendly post and advice, I now updated with full instructions that anyone can understand!
    – Tad
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 20:28

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