One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Recipe: Turkey Gizzard Pot Roast

This is a gizzard.

"Um... I see the picture, but... seriously, what's a gizzard?" You may be asking yourself.

Its kind of like a birds set of teeth. I know, it looks nothing like that, but let me explain.

(photo credit)
A gizzard is a unique lil organ than many (all?) birds have to assist them in the digestion of their food. As you may or may not know, birds don't have teeth and as such tend to simply swallow their food whole or at best, cracked in twain. If the birds tried to digest such large pieces of hard food, such as seeds, they would at best hardly get any nutrients from it, and and worst have a killer case of constipation. So birds will go eat small bits of rock and gravel which they will temporarily store in their gizzard where this muscular organ effectively "chews" the food that the bird has already eaten by grinding it amongst the bits of gravel. Neat, eh?

Now that you've had your biology lesson for the day I'll let you in on the question of the day "So what?". So what? I got 15lbs of turkey giblets for a rockin price thats so what!

First of all, I freakin love turkey. Secondly, growing up I have fond memories of going to the store and getting a package of fried chicken gizzards. I don't know if its because I live in a less ethnically diverse part of town now, or if that was some now antiquated hold over from the Wild West but they're tough to get right now. (Incidentally, here is a great lil recipe for Fried Gizzards in Buttermilk Brine to appease either your curiosity or in my case, nostalgia.)

(photo credit)
At Sprouts turkey giblets were for sale for $1.99/lb which isn't terrible for meat in general, and certainly isn't bad when you consider the fact that the organs are nutrient dense (especially livers). However, thanks to a little perseverance, the owning of a food-safe bucket and asking nicely, we were able to get 15lbs of turkey giblets for a mere $0.99/lb. Not too shabby and its also edifying to know that we're stocked to fulfill one of our Catholic patriotic food rules, namely using "cheap cuts of meat."

Inexpensive, nutrient dense, delicous meats? Whats not to love? Well, since the gizzard is a muscular organ used to grind food it has a tendancy to be very tough, plus there is a significant amount of connective tissue. What do you do with tough meat full of connective tissue? Did anyone say potroast?!

Without further ado: Turkey Gizzard Pot Roast.

2-3lbs Turkey Gizzards
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 cup Poultry Stock
1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1lb Sweet Potatoes
1 large Onion
4 stalks of Celery

In a 4-6 quart cast iron dutch oven brown Gizzards in hot Coconut Oil. It is important that you use a cast iron dutch oven because the lid needs to be heavy enough to create a hot, stewing atmosphere inside of the pot without letting heat and moisture escape.

Combine the 1cup Poultry Stock (since we had some left in our bucket o' giblets I just used 1cup of blood) Poultry Seasoning and Salt. Pour over Gizzards and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, peel and cube Sweet Potato, cut Onion into wedges and cut Celery at a bias.

Add half of vegetables to meat. Place in 300 degree oven for 3 hours or until tender, adding water occasionally if necessary.

At this point all of the sweet potatoes should have effectively broken down and, along with the now liquified fat and connective tissue from the gizzards, created a delicious gravy.

Add remaining vegetables and return to oven for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Serve on a platter and enjoy the deliciousness that ensues.

Due to the nature of organ meats, gizzards actually have a somewhat beefy taste (eg. minerally and mildly metallic) I won't pretend that this is a recipe that would fool anyone into thinking that they actually were eating beef pot roast but I do think that this is a splendid way to introduce "cheap cuts" of meat into your family's diet without having to convince anyone to eat it.


  1. Hi! I love gizzards as well! I'm glad I found your blog- just came here from Simple Lives Thursday and your blog seems up my alley.

    If you got a bunch of gizzards, here's another recipe I made with gizzards- gizzard meat balls. Delish!

    I also chop mine up after boiling, and use them in place of hamburger meat in many recipes, like rice a roni and stuffed peppers.

    This recipe looks delish!

  2. Thanks for stopping by.

    I have ground turkey gizzards and used them in lieu of hamburger as well, but typically only for loose meat tacos and the like.

    The meatball recipe sounds tremendously intriguing, thank you for sharing!

  3. 2 things-
    1) I do not like gizzards. This was edible, but not my favorite dish. I prefer to chop them up ridiculously small and make a gravy with livers and other parts.
    2) use regular potatoes, not sweet potatoes. That's my 2 cents. :) love you honey!

  4. the above comment was from Britt, not me, to abate any confusion.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Yes, sorry, that's what you get for staying signed in on the family computer, love! Now the whole world thinks you don't like gizzards. Oh well. :) Your loss.