All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (2024)

All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (1)

Towards the end of an otherwise very enjoyable dish of Cantonese-style spicy duck tongues at Congee Village on New York’s Lower East Side a few years ago, I found myself asking the inevitable question: how many ducks does it take to make a plate of this? Counting the tongues I could pick up with my chopsticks and then working backwards to calculate how many mouthfuls I had already eaten, I estimated that every portion contained the quacking gear of between 25 and 35 ducks.

When one considers those same ducks all waddling happily along together, it’s a considerable badling, is it not? And yes, before you ask, a collection of ducks isn’t a flock or a herd, but a “badling” or sometimes a “paddling”. I know this because in primary school our class did a project on collective nouns, covering all the most common and some of the lesser-known before inventing one of our own. My neighbor and racing enthusiast, Lee Starr, came up with an “exhaust of cars”, while I, demonstrating all the wit and inventiveness that is my trademark, produced a “snuffle of bunnies”. I completed this master-work with a drawing of a small group of sickly-looking, watery-eyed black and white rabbits, at least one of which lay on its back, paws in the air. This, my first, and perhaps only, truly expressive piece of art, came from a place of deep sorrow. I had watched the dystopian and thoroughly child-inappropriate “Watership Down” a couple of weeks before the surprise death of my first pet, Harry the rabbit, from a cold. My efforts prompted a worried phone call home from my teacher, Mrs Brearey.

While it did not impel me to put pen to paper and articulate my feelings visually, I was momentarily struck by the sheer number of ducks who had died for the benefit of what was just one course in a mini-marathon through Congee Village’s enormous menu. It’s a feeling I reprised recently while enjoying a recipe for grilled chicken hearts from Evandro Caregnato’s excellent book on Brazilian wood-fueled cookery, Churrasco, Grilling the Brazilian Way. That day in Chinatown, I consoled myself with the thought that at least none of their sacrifice was being put to waste, a tactic that I attempted again this past weekend, reasonably successfully. Indeed, the thought that far more chicken hearts go to waste than are eaten was what stayed with me this time.

I remember reading in The Raw and the Cooked, the late Jim Harrison’s magnificent collection of gastronomic tales, that millions of pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks that couldn’t be sold domestically were exported to Russia and Far East every year because American appetites were so focused on the breast. I hope that there is a similarly robust export market for chicken hearts since we were able to buy about 2lbs of them for less than $3. Perhaps that export market should be Brazil, since I read in the pages of Churrasco that such a delicacy are they considered on the tables of churrasquerias across the country, that they are highly-priced and the consumption of them is becoming a status symbol. All of which might be hard to stomach, quite literally in many cases, since, like most offal, including duck tongues, these purplish-red ovals appear rarely, if ever, on menus stateside.

All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (2)

Texas de Brazil used to have them available upon request but once it became apparent that chicken hearts were considered beyond the pale to even their most adventurous diners, Caregnato was forced to remove them from his restaurant’s offerings. We witnessed something similar recently also, and not just in the appalled faces of my in-laws when I walked into their kitchen bearing a bowl of marinating chicken hearts this past weekend. One of the things we most look forward to in our now-annual late winter trip to southwest Florida, is a visit to Argentine-Urguguayan restaurant Martin Fierro. Their stubborn focus on authenticity was one of the most enjoyable aspects of dining there, so it was deeply-chagrined that we discovered on our visit in March that due to the unpopularity of their traditional offal preparations they had taken to deep-frying them in advance and just warming to order from frozen.

I’m certainly prepared to accept that the soft bits that gurgle and sluice waste fluids are not to everyone’s taste, and it’s quite plausible, as some have argued, that such aversion could be a natural response designed to avoid potential illness from contaminated foods. But it saddened me that rather than just pull the items from the menu, Martin Fierro opted instead to make it so godawful.

All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (3)

As a rule, we do not eat at chain restaurants, and have never eaten at a Texas de Brazil, or any of the other so-called Brazilian steakhouses scattered around the country. Nor, indeed, have we yet visited Brazil, so cannot attest to the authenticity of the recipes Caregnato’s book contains. We have visited and written extensively about our love for the beef-based cattleman culture that extends beyond the border of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande del Sur into Uruguay and the Argentine pampas, and on this basis we are prepared to advise our humble readers that it contains much that is wise and good with respect to meat cookery.

Conventionally, Brazilians eat chicken hearts as an hors d’oeuvre, serving them on toothpicks, dusted with toasted cassava flour, as rather dainty finger food while the larger cuts on the asado menu continue to cook. If you try this and wish for your guests to partake, you might consider promoting them as “fried olives”, which they visually resemble. It would be wise to maintain this fiction until chewing is complete.

Alternatively, you might wish to know that Churrasco contains a host of other recipes that, while still faithful to their Brazilian origins, are far closer to the comfort zone of you and your guests. Nor are these solely the beefy provisions of the gaúcho. Caregnato showcases the diversity of the Brazilian identity with fascinating dishes of Italian and German immigrant communities alongside typical Lebanese fare and Portuguese and Amazonian fish dishes.

And, as the world turns its attention to Rio de Janeiro this summer for the Olympic Games, it is worth remembering that there is an entire country beyond that iconic city, much of which bears scant, if any, resemblance, and the cuisine of which is well worth your investigation. So, I beseech you, if there is any chance in the world that you would countenance putting a grilled chicken’s heart into your mouth to stave off hunger, please consider the recipe below as a way of rendering that experience as enjoyable as possible, even if it never recurs.

All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (4)

Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way
by Evandro Caregnato
Hardcover, 216 pages
US $30
Gibbs Smith publishers, Layton, UT

Grilled Chicken Hearts / Coraçâo de Frango
(serves 4-6 as an appetizer)


  • 2lbs chicken hearts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 cup (or more) white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 glass white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a non-reactive (ceramic or plastic) bowl, place trimmed, rinsed chicken hearts and cover with white vinegar, using a plate where necessary to keep hearts submerged for 30-45 minutes. This will help sluice-out any blood or other nasties.
  2. Drain hearts and discard vinegar. Then, placing hearts into a clean bowl, add garlic, sage and rosemary, salt, wine and lemon juice, and toss well to combine.
  3. Allow hearts to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.
  4. After skewering the hearts (preferably on metal skewers, but remember to soak bamboo skewers, if not), cook over a medium-heat grill for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.
  5. Allow to cool before serving with a condiment of your choice. We like a chimichurri or spicy Colombian aji.


All You Chicken Hearts – Be Quiet! (2024)


Is chicken hearts good for dogs? ›

Heart. The heart is both a muscle and an organ, so it's similar to feeding your dog a steak with an extra punch of protein and vitamins. Both chicken and beef hearts are excellent sources of B vitamins, iron and essential fatty acids, keeping your dog's coat silky smooth for cuddle time!

What does chicken heart mean? ›

adjective Informal. timid; fearful; cowardly.

How many chicken hearts can I feed my dog? ›

As the heart is not a secreting organ, such as the liver, it can be considered muscle meat and is not a high risk for causing loose stools! Recommended feeding up to 10-15% of the diet, or up to 4 per day for cats and small dogs.

Can you eat too many chicken hearts? ›

That said, people who have high blood cholesterol levels and are sensitive to dietary cholesterol may want to limit their intake of chicken hearts and other high cholesterol foods. People with gout may need to limit their intake of foods high in purine, including chicken hearts.

Can dogs have too many chicken hearts? ›

Yes, feeding dogs chicken hearts in moderation provides them with a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and taurine, which support a healthy cardiovascular system. But be careful not to overfeed dogs with chicken hearts as it can result in a nutritional imbalance.

Are chicken hearts or gizzards better for dogs? ›

Gizzard is rich in cartilage, zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. It's also a natural source of glucosamine, which helps support joint health. Heart is a great source of CoQ10, a protective super-antioxidant that promotes cardiovascular health, and taurine, an essential amino acid that also aids cardiac function.

Are chicken hearts considered meat? ›

Chicken hearts are often more affordable meat and can be a good way to get your daily protein intake. It's also high in saturated fats, though. If you have high blood cholesterol or blood fat levels, you'll want to avoid chicken heart and eat leaner proteins. Regardless, consider eating chicken hearts in moderation.

Are chicken hearts healthy to eat? ›

In reality, chicken heart nutrition makes it one of the most nutrient-packed affordable foods available. It's also pretty tasty — just as long as it's prepared right.

What do chicken hearts taste like? ›

What Do Chicken Hearts Taste Like? Chicken hearts taste much like dark meat, but with a slightly metallic, gamey flavor. They have a satisfying, chewy texture when grilled. The taste is noticeable but not overpowering.

Can you feed dogs chicken hearts everyday? ›

Hearts are organ meats. Like other organs such as the liver and kidney, they should be eaten by your dog in moderation. If your dog is active, 10% organ meat in the diet is okay. If your pet is very active, he can tolerate about 15%.

Can dogs eat heart every day? ›

For dried lamb heart treats you can feed a medium-sized dog a large cube a few times a week as a treat. Generally, hearts are relatively safe to feed dogs. However, lamb hearts are rich and so if you introduce them too quickly they can cause your dog to have a gastrointestinal upset.

Is chicken heart or beef heart better for dogs? ›

Overall chicken hearts are much lower in B vitamins in comparison to pork and beef heart; although they are a better source of folic acid. Additionally, chicken heart is often the easiest to source. The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

Are chicken hearts a Superfood? ›

Pasture-raised chicken hearts do a body good. It's a fact. Nutritionists call them superfood sources of vitamins and minerals like omega-3s.

Can chicken hearts be eaten rare? ›

This unusual but very tasty tender meat can be marinated, skewered and grilled briefly. Eat chicken hearts nicely red to enjoy a tender piece.

Are freeze dried chicken hearts good for dogs? ›

THE BEST TAURINE FOR PETS: Chicken hearts freeze dried are one of the best sources of taurine for cats and dogs, which supports brain and eye development, boosts the immune system and aids digestion.

Can chicken hearts cause diarrhea in dogs? ›

Yes, chicken hearts can cause diarrhea in dogs. Chicken hearts are full of protein, and the high levels of protein can be difficult for some dogs to digest. Eating too many chicken hearts too quickly can trigger indigestion, leading to diarrhea.

Can dogs get salmonella from raw chicken hearts? ›

Can dogs get salmonella from raw chicken– yes, just like humans, dogs can contract it. This being said, it's a little less likely and here's why: dogs have a much higher tolerance to bacteria than humans.

Can dogs eat chicken gizzards and hearts everyday? ›

Chicken gizzards are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. However, chicken gizzards contain high levels of cholesterol. Therefore, overfeeding chicken gizzards to your dog could lead to health issues like heart disease.

Can I feed raw chicken liver to my dog? ›

Can dogs eat chicken liver? Yes, dogs can eat chicken liver, and it's one of the best meat sources that they can eat. It's lower in calories and higher in protein than other kinds of liver, and when compared to pork or lamb liver, chicken is far more nutritionally dense.

How long does it take to boil chicken hearts? ›

Boil chicken hearts in water for 30 minutes, or longer if desired.

How long does it take to cook chicken hearts? ›

How Long Should I Cook Chicken Hearts? Chicken hearts cooked in a skillet over medium-high heat will take about 5-7 minutes to cook. If the skillet gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium.

What nationality eats chicken hearts? ›

No matter how they are served, chicken hearts are a Brazilian delicacy.

What is chicken heart called? ›

Gizzards are one of a loosely defined group of miscellaneous chicken parts known as the giblets (which also includes the heart and liver).

Are chicken hearts and livers good for dogs? ›

Liver and hearts from chicken, turkey, and beef are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. Chicken gizzards are rich in cartilage. It is sometimes sold with hearts and is an important component of a healthy pet diet.

Is KFC heart healthy? ›

The dishes of KFC are mostly deep-fried and are made using tons of oil. So, the regular consumption of KFC can make you gain weight. Therefore, continuous consumption of fast food, chicken, and meat that too with excess oil can lead to heart and fat-related issues.

Does chicken heart have collagen? ›

Another natural source of collagen protein is organ meats. These include the liver, tongue, heart, kidneys, and brains from beef, pork, or chicken (León-López, 2019).

Are chicken hearts and livers healthy? ›

Chicken liver is especially high in vitamin A and B12 while containing significant amounts of many essential vitamins and minerals. Chicken heart is also extremely nutrient dense and is especially high in the B vitamins, specifically B12, along with zinc and copper.

How much is a pound of chicken heart? ›

Chicken hearts $8/lb.

What are the benefits of eating chicken heart? ›

Both chicken hearts and gizzards are high in iron and zinc, but the hearts are the better source. A 1-cup portion of chicken hearts contains 13.1 milligrams of iron and 10.6 milligrams of zinc, while the gizzards contain 4.62 milligrams of iron and 6.41 milligrams of zinc, according to USDA FoodData Central.

Do you need to wash chicken hearts? ›

Chicken hearts are very tasty and easy to prepare, but a very important point in their culinary processing is their cleaning. First of all, the hearts must be washed very well. Then dry them up well and start cleaning them. Use a sharp knife for this purpose.

Are chicken gizzards good for you? ›

Chicken gizzards are one of the healthiest portions of chicken. Rich in protein, they are also great for digestion and are a high source of vitamins. If you're wondering what a “gizzard” is, it is the stomach of birds. Here lie all the nutrients that your body needs.

Can I feed my dog chicken and sweet potato everyday? ›

As with many other fruits or vegetables, sweet potatoes should be fed to your dog in moderation and as occasional treats, not as part of a regular diet. Too much of a good thing, even if it's nutritious, should be offered in small amounts first to avoid any allergic response or intolerance.

Do chicken necks clean dogs teeth? ›

The main draw to chicken necks is it improves dental health. This is because as the bones are crushed through by the teeth, they provide an abrasive action on the surface of the tooth, resulting in removal of plaque.

What meat is best for dogs? ›

Chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, and chuck steak or roast are animal-based proteins, which help dogs grow strong. A few rules apply: Always cook meat well. Never serve it raw or undercooked.

Why don t dogs eat 3 times a day? ›

For most dogs, eating twice a day is the healthiest option. You give them security in a schedule, keep their stomach running smoothly, and the consistency helps them through changes. It is also fairly easy for a dog owner to remember to feed your furry friend at breakfast and dinner.

What vegetables are best for dogs? ›

Carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and bananas are packed with important vitamins, along with potassium, which is good for a dog's muscles, nerves, and kidneys. Their fiber can also help dogs stay regular.

Is chicken heart better than beef heart for dogs? ›

Overall chicken hearts are much lower in B vitamins in comparison to pork and beef heart; although they are a better source of folic acid. Additionally, chicken heart is often the easiest to source. The amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs are based on 1oz (28g).

How much heart should I feed my dog? ›

Heart shouldn't take up more than 10% of the diet, like offal, but it doesn't have to comprise of the offal portion. You can also buy dehydrated ox hearts, in the form of training treats or jerky strips, which can be enjoyed by both raw fed and commercially fed dogs.

Are chicken hearts liver and gizzards good for dogs? ›

Liver and hearts from chicken, turkey, and beef are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. Chicken gizzards are rich in cartilage. It is sometimes sold with hearts and is an important component of a healthy pet diet.

Should I give my dog raw or cooked chicken hearts? ›

And cooking or raw chicken hearts are good for your dog companion. Most veterinarians think that raw chicken hearts is better and more natural for dogs. Any heating of the raw heart, whether on your own stove or in the canning process of a dog food processing plant, will reduce the nutrient content of the raw heart.

What is the healthiest animal heart to eat? ›

Heart is the best food source of CoQ10, with pork heart and beef heart topping the list at approximately 127 mcg/g and 113 mcg/g, respectively. (2) By comparison, sardines supply only about 64 mcg/g, beef liver contains 39 mcg, beef muscle meat contains 31 mcg, and pork muscle meat has anywhere from 24 to 41 mcg.

Do you wash chicken heart before cooking? ›

Chicken hearts are very tasty and easy to prepare, but a very important point in their culinary processing is their cleaning. First of all, the hearts must be washed very well. Then dry them up well and start cleaning them. Use a sharp knife for this purpose.

What are the benefits of dried chicken hearts for dogs? ›

Chicken hearts are packed with protein and a unique set of nutrients. Along with important amino acids that help build muscle, chicken hearts are especially rich in iron and zinc. These trace-minerals are vital for multiple important functions, including the oxygen transport throughout your canine's body.

How long do you have to boil chicken hearts? ›

Boil chicken hearts in water for 30 minutes, or longer if desired.

Can a dog eat too much beef heart? ›

There are two main caveats that come with serving beef hearts to dogs. One, don't go overboard. Feeding your pup too much beef heart or too much too soon can throw off the fat balance in their diet. And without a proper transition period, they can experience some stomach upset.

What can I feed my dog instead of dog food? ›

Here are some things you can feed your pooch from your fridge or cupboard:
  • Bananas.
  • Blueberries.
  • Broccoli.
  • Carrots.
  • Cooked boneless lean meat (chicken, beef, or turkey)
  • Onion-free gravy for taste.
  • Plain boiled rice.
  • Plain, unprocessed oatmeal.

Which is better for dogs beef or chicken? ›

Beef is a high-quality source of nutrients and amino acids. It is rich in iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. While it contains more nutrients compared to chicken, beef has a higher calorie count and a higher fat content which may not be good for dogs with restricted calorie intake.

How many gizzards can a dog eat? ›

Gizzards for Dogs: Bottom Line

Not only CAN dogs eat all three, they SHOULD eat all three on a regular basis. If you were wondering "can dogs eat cooked gizzards?", you also found an answer to that question: yes, they can, although raw gizzards are more nutritious.


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