High on my list of personal foibles is my lack of fortitude when it comes to dealing with chicken organs.
You know what I'm talking about--the little bag of body parts--neck, heart, gizzard, liver--that comes with the chicken, usually stuffed inside the cavity. Our farmer friend Brett takes great pains to include a Ziploc bag with chicken parts when he sends one of his chickens with our weekly CSA box. I carefully remove the bag, place it in a small bowl and put it in the refrigerator with a promise to myself that I will--this time--find a use for my chicken offal very soon, to make good on all the work that went into harvesting them.
Days pass. I glance at the bowl of chicken parts each time I open the refrigerator. The promise to myself turns into guilt. I try to put giblets out of my mind, pretend they're not there. But soon they take on a metaphysical weight--a real presence in my thoughts--like something out of an Egar Allen Poe story. The beating chicken heart...
Eventually, my wife will complain of an odor eminating from the refrigerator. I pretend to not know what it is, and bury the chicken parts in the trash at the first opportunity when no one is looking. At this point, the guilt has become HUGE.
Well, I just hate to waste food and I keep telling myself that I will never collect enough chicken necks to make a stock. By now, if I had saved all those necks, I would have enough a couple times over. So this week after receiving another chicken from Brett, and the bag of organs, I was more determined than ever to make good use of them. Since I know no one else in the family will have anything to do with chicken offal, I decided to have giblets for breakfast with some of Brett's pastured eggs.
Here's what I did: First, place the neck in a freezer bag to finally start your collection. Put the bag in the freezer. Nex, cut the gizzard and heart into small pieces and sautee them in a hot skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. When they are cooked through, spoon them onto a plate and set aside. Now cook the liver in the same skillet, either whole or cut into two pieces. Be sure to brown it on all sides. When that is cooked through, remove it to a cutting board and when it is cool enough to handle, cut it into small pieces.
Let the skillet cool a bit off the heat, then return it to the burner set to moderately-low and pour two farm-fresh eggs, beaten, into the skillet where the eggs can pick up all the brown bits off the bottom. Scramble the eggs as you normally would, mixing them around with your favorite usensil, and when they're about half-way cooked add the chopped giblets and mix them well with the eggs. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve this immediately on a warm plate, perhaps with a piece of toasted, rustic bread. If you have any leftover giblet gravy in the fridge, now would be a good time to use that as well. We had some fresh chervil in our CSA box this week, so I chopped some of that to garnish the eggs.
I happen to like strong, gamey flavors, so this is a dish I could easily wake up to on a more regular basis. But my advise is, do this early in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up, so you don't have to listen to all those disapproving voices telling you how much they can't stand chicken giblets.