This is my favorite way to eat duck or goose gizzards, which are all meat but are so dense and tough they generally need long, long cooking to not be disturbingly crunchy. Sliced thin and tossed with a simple saute of wild mushrooms — I mostly use chanterelles or hedgehogs, which are what’s in the picture — it’s a really killer dish!
You need a long time to cook the gizzards, and I cook them in what I call “ghetto sous vide,” which is really just hot water. If you have a vacuum sealer you’ll need it. If you don’t, you can jerry-rig things with a sealable plastic bag or tightly wrapped plastic wrap.
Only use fresh mushrooms here, not reconstituted dried ones. It is better to use regular button mushrooms that are fresh than dried chanterelles.
GIZZARD CONFIT with WILD MUSHROOMS
You can use any gizzard here, too, from wild ducks and geese to chickens and turkeys. Stick to birds at least as large as a wild duck, however, as you want to be able to slice the cooked gizzards thin.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 8 hours
- 8-10 duck gizzards, cleaned
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 4-6 tablespoons duck fat, olive oil or lard
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh chanterelle, hedgehog or other mushrooms
- 3 large shallots, chopped fine
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- Fresh thyme for garnish
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or a splash of verjus
- Black pepper
A day before you want to serve this dish, mix about 1/4 cup of salt with the dried thyme and toss in the cleaned gizzards to coat well. Put the salted gizzards in a container in the fridge overnight, or at least 6 hours.
The next day, rinse off the gizzards and dry with paper towels. Get a large pot of water hot – you want it steaming, not simmering.
Put the gizzards into a vacuum seal bag in one layer, and pack in the duck fat or lard. You can use olive oil here, but it is harder to work with because it’s liquid. Seal the bag tight with the vacuum sealer; you won’t be able to do this if you are using olive oil, so get as much air out as you can. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can approximate this with a Ziploc bag – push all the air out of the bag first.
Submerge the bag in the hot water. Shoot for a temperature of about 160 degrees. Once the water is about this hot, it is easy to maintain that temperature over a very low heat. Cook this way for at least 4 hours, and 8 hours is better.
To make the dish, get a very large frying pan hot over high heat. Add in the mushrooms and shake the pan to cook. Keep the pan moving until you see the mushrooms give up their water. Sprinkle them with salt. Toss from time to time until all the water is gone.
Add some of the fat from the gizzard bag and the shallots and toss to combine. Keep cooking over high heat until you just start to see the shallots brown. Add the garlic and the fresh thyme, and cook for another 2 minutes, tossing often.
To serve, slice the gizzards very thin and add to the mushrooms. Add the verjus or lemon juice and toss to combine and serve at once with black pepper over the top.