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Rubbery turkey gizzards have long been chopped up and used for giblet gravy. These larger versions of chicken gizzards need not be consigned to a subordinate role, though: They make fine cold weather comfort food. Cooked until tender in a slow cooker, they go well with rice or noodles. Serve them with or without the rich gravy. Butchers who sell poultry may sell turkey gizzards by the pound, as they do chicken gizzards.
Rinse gizzards well in cold water and cut the largest ones so pieces are all approximately the same size. Cut the onion into sliver-thin slices.
Start the slow cooker. Heat 20 oz. or more of chicken broth in a saucepan until steam starts to rise, and then pour it into the stoneware. Add the onion and gizzards.
Add more broth if necessary to cover the gizzards. Turn the slow cooker to its low setting – between 250 and 300 degrees.
Check the slow cooker after two hours and add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tsp. of rosemary and more chicken broth if liquid has boiled away. Adjust the temperature so the liquid steams but does not boil.
Cook the gizzards for two more hours. Check the gizzards for tenderness and seasoning. Cook up to six hours, if necessary.
When gizzards are completely tender, remove them with a slotted spoon and cut them into bite-size pieces or slice them for casseroles.
Make a roux with 1/4 cup of butter or margarine and 1/2 cup of flour. Melt the butter over low heat and whisk in the flour, cooking until the roux turns a golden brown.
Add the roux slowly to the broth in the slow cooker, whisking to incorporate, until you have a rich gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Return the gizzards to the gravy to reheat. Serve on noodles or with rice.
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- Process the finished gizzards with enough gravy to make a pate for use in terrines or as a spread for appetizers. Add mushrooms, carrots and celery to gizzards and use the stew for pasties or pot pies, or top the stew with a recipe of corn bread and pop the ceramic pot in the oven for a one-dish pot pie.
- Add color with Spanish rice or other lively colors to attract attention when gizzards are served alongside the starch.
- A proper roux is the secret to gravy without lumps. Keep leftover roux in the refrigerator or make a batch to keep in an ice cube tray in the freezer for future use.
- Let the gizzards cool after cooking and before attempting to handle or cut them. They will be hot.
- Use gloves or mitts to handle hot pans or slow-cooker parts.
An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.
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