By Josh Jones, Chef at Salt & Time, a butcher shop and restaurant in Austin, TX
Although procuring chicken hearts is not always the easiest task, this recipe makes it worth the hunt. If you don’t have a local butcher shop to buy them from, you can try your local farmers market. I find that there is someone selling chickens at every farmers market and they probably get all of their organs, and may even be sitting on a load of them in their freezer. If they don’t sell them, ask if they would be willing to get them from their processor for you.
1/2 lb chicken hearts
3c lard (or cooking oil of your choice)
Seasoning of your choice
Step 1. Clean your chicken hearts. I like to take the little bit of fat off of the tops and remove the arterial pieces that are still protruding from the heart. I like to soak them in buttermilk for a few hours to degorge them.
Step 2. While you are waiting for them to degorge, season up your flour. I like to use some spicy flavors, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, jalapeno powder, salt, pepper. But feel free to use whatever tastes best for you.
Step 3. Put your pan over medium high heat, and melt your lard. Let it get nice and hot. i like to get it around 350 degrees. Be careful around any open flames so as to not light your oil on fire.
Step 4. Pull your hearts out and dredge them in your seasoned flour. I like to dip my hearts in the buttermilk again and dredge them again. Them drop them in the hot oil.
Step 5. Fry them to a nice crispy brown, and has an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Step 6. I like to let them rest for a few minutes on a paper towel to absorb any left over oil.