Chicken hearts are delicious and super easy to cook. Just marinate and pan fry for 5 minutes. Dinner is ready. It's so flavorful with a good bounce! Don't forget to cook rice ^_^
I love browsing meat counters. Sometimes we are at a big supermarkets, other times we are the local butcher in Chinatown. There's always some new-to-me ingredient or cut of meat to learn about!
At our local Whole Foods the other week, I saw chicken hearts. Lots of chicken hearts piled up in the case, looking clean, and fresh. We're used to seeing a single chicken heart when we roast a whole chicken, but seeing an entire pile of chicken hearts was like wowoowww.
I purchased a pound to try. They were delicious! And not only delicious but super easy to prepare. Chicken hearts are tiny, single bite morsels with so much flavor. They're simultaneously delicious and bouncy...the best of both worlds.
Just marinate them in a mixture of olive oil and soy sauce (a great combination). Pan fry for 5 minutes. Then it's done and ready to eat. You can sprinkle a little parsley on top for color but that's optional. It's a fast and easy meal, perfect with a big bowl of rice!
Since "discovering" chicken hearts, we've made this recipe for many quick lunch and dinners. It is always a hit.
Here's what you'll need
- Chicken hearts - We buy raw chicken hearts at our local Whole Foods in Hawaii (which also has lots of special "only in Hawaii" type of products). Chicken hearts were $4.49 a pound when we last purchased them.
- Olive oil - Any good quality (no need to be fancy) olive oil works.
- Soy sauce - We use Aloha or Kikkoman brand soy sauce.
- Parsley - Optional, for garnishing.
See recipe card for quantities.
Let's get cooking:
Rinse the chicken hearts under running water for a few minutes to clean. Pat dry and place them in a bowl (or zip top bag).
Add the olive oil and soy sauce to the chicken hearts. Mix until evenly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Pan fry the chicken hearts for about 5 minutes, until they are just cooked through.
Season with a little salt to taste. Remove the chicken hearts to a plate. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley (optional). The dish is ready to eat and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few popular ideas:
- Garlic - Add a few minced garlic cloves to the pan right before adding in the chicken hearts. So tasty!
- Spices - Replace the soy sauce with a teaspoon each of cumin and paprika for a completely different (but equally delicious) flavor.
- Onions and/or mushrooms - Saute thinly sliced onions for a few minutes before adding in the chicken hearts. You can also do the same with mushrooms!
Unless you plan to eat them cold the next day, chicken hearts don't keep that well. Why? Because once you reheat them, they tend to overcook. And when overcooked, they are tough and rubbery. Just cook as much you need for the meal.
If you don't have the 15 minutes it takes to marinate the chicken hearts or just want to make this recipe more quickly....that can be done!
Add olive oil to the pan, and then add the chicken hearts. Pay fry for 5 minutes. Then season with soy sauce, and a little bit of salt. Tadah, dinner is ready!
I love chicken hearts best with a bowl of hot rice!
If you want to make this a complete meal, then pair it with a tasty vegetable dish (like Stir Fried Lettuce, Bean Sprouts Stir Fry, or Garlic and Fish Sauce Eggplant).
And sometimes a warm bowl of chicken broth/soup on the side makes it feel like an extra nourishing meal.
Chicken hearts taste like dark meat (similar to chicken thigh meat), but also a bit more fatty and richer.
When perfectly cooked, they are slightly chewy with a nice "bounce."
I also love that chicken hearts are essentially single bite morsels, that makes it feel like a special treat.
Important note: please do not overcook the chicken hearts. It completely changes it from extra delicious to very tough.
If you're not sure whether if it is fully cooked, just taste a piece! I use chopsticks and plop one in my mouth. Or you could put a single piece on a cutting board and cut in half to see if it's cooked. We aim for medium-rare.
This is a simple and forgiving recipe. You can easily double or triple it. Use a little more or a little less soy sauce if you prefer. Salt is added to taste.
Chicken Hearts Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- 1 pound raw chicken hearts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt to taste
- parsley, chopped optional, for garnish
- Rinse the chicken hearts under running water for a few minutes to clean. Pat dry and place them in a bowl.
- Add the olive oil and soy sauce to the chicken hearts. Mix until evenly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Pan fry the chicken hearts for about 5 minutes, until they are just cooked through.
- Season with a little salt to taste. Remove the chicken hearts to a plate.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley (optional). The chicken hearts are ready to eat and enjoy!
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