Chicken hearts may not be as popular as other parts of the bird, but they’re definitely worth trying out!
This underutilized cut of meat has some great health benefits if prepared correctly.
What Is The Best Chicken Hearts Recipe?
The heart of the chicken isn’t just a pretty name for this part of the bird – it actually packs quite a punch when it comes to nutrition too.
Chicken hearts contain high amounts of protein and iron which make them an excellent source of essential nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, selenium, and potassium.
They also provide lots of energy, so eating a portion of chicken hearts could help boost your daily calorie intake without adding extra fat or sugar into your diet.
These nutrient-rich organs also contain high levels of antioxidants, making them extremely beneficial for reducing inflammation and boosting immunity throughout the body.
So why don’t we eat more of these tasty little morsels?
Well, one reason is because many people simply aren’t aware of how much good stuff they’ve been missing out on by leaving their chicken hearts behind.
Another problem is that chicken hearts tend to get over cooked during cooking, especially if you’re using canned versions of the ingredient.
If you cook your chicken hearts until they fall apart, then there’s no point in eating them at all!
Luckily, with a bit of prep work and careful attention to details, you can easily prepare chicken hearts that everyone will love.
Here are several ways to cook this underrated cut of meat so that you won’t miss out any longer.
- Cooking Tips for Chicken Hearts
- How Long To Cook Chicken Hearts
- Recipes for Chicken Hearts
- Ingredients for Chicken Hearts Recipe
- Is Chicken Heart Good For You?
- Health Benefits Of Eating Chicken Hearts
- Why Do People Avoid Chicken Hearts?
1. How to Make Fried Chicken Hearts
Fried chicken hearts are perfect finger food for parties or game day celebrations.
The key to getting crispy fried chicken hearts is to use plenty of oil while frying them.
A little oil goes a long way here, so start off with about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) per serving.
Once you add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, pour in the chicken hearts and fry them until golden brown.
Remove the chicken hearts from the pan and serve immediately.
2. Chicken Hearts Soup
If you want something different than your standard fried chicken hearts dish, try making chicken hearts soup instead.
It takes only 20 minutes to whip up this comforting soup, so it makes it easy to put together on busy weeknights.
Just chop up the chicken hearts along with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, green onion tops, and pepper flakes.
Then, heat a large pot full of water on medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Add in the chopped vegetables, seasonings, chicken broth, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 15 minutes before removing the lid and letting it continue to bubble away for another 5 minutes.
Finally, remove the pot from the stove and stir in the shredded cabbage.
3. Chicken Hearts Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are always a crowd pleaser, so what better way to show off chicken hearts than to turn them into pasta salad?
Simply chop up the chicken hearts along with red bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Mix everything together well, and top it off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve cold for a satisfying dinner option.
4. Stir Fry Chicken Hearts with Vegetables
Stir fries are another great option for preparing chicken hearts.
Chop up the chicken hearts along with broccoli, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy leaves, fresh ginger root, garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.
Heat a wok or skillet on medium heat, add in vegetable stock and allow it to come to a rolling boil.
Pour in the veggies and toss them around until they’re lightly coated with the liquid.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to a plate to cool completely.
When ready to serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.
5. Sauteed Chicken Hearts with Garlic Sauce
Sauteed chicken hearts are a classic Italian comfort food.
They take very little time to prepare and require almost no effort, so they’re ideal for nights where you need something quick and easy.
To create this sautéed chicken hearts recipe, first peel and devein the chicken hearts.
Slice each heart into four pieces, and set aside. Next, slice two cloves of garlic thinly across the grain.
Heat a tablespoon (15 mL) of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Sauté the sliced garlic in hot oil until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully place the chicken hearts in the pan and sear them for 1 minute on both sides.
Turn off the burner, drizzle with lemon juice, and serve hot.
What Are The Ingredients In A Chicken Hearts Recipe?
There are many different ways to prepare chicken hearts, but there are two main types of recipes: those made with fresh or frozen hearts, and those made from ground up chicken hearts.
Most recipes for chicken hearts call for only a couple of ingredients, so it doesn’t take long to whip together a tasty dish.
Ingredients for fresh chicken hearts
- 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kg) chicken hearts
- Salt and pepper – about 1/4 teaspoon each
- Garlic powder – optional
- Olive oil – enough to coat your pan
- Water – enough to cover the chicken hearts when cooking them on medium heat
Ground chicken hearts
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Seasoning – salt and pepper
- Oil – enough to fry the chicken hearts
- Flour – enough to soak up all the juices
How Do You Make Chicken Hearts?
There are a number of ways to cook chicken hearts.
They are very versatile so you don’t need to stick with one method for your entire life.
You can use any cooking technique to prepare them, whether it’s boiling or baking, grilling, frying, roasting, smoking, barbecuing, or braising.
Here we will show you how to make a basic chicken heart dish using the microwave oven, which is an easy way to prepare these tasty little morsels without having to go through all the steps needed for traditional methods.
- Remove the skin from the chicken hearts (discard). Cut each heart into 4 pieces.
- Place the chicken hearts on a paper towel. Use more if needed.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil per piece of chicken hearts. Heat the oil over high heat until hot.
- Cook the chicken hearts for 3 minutes before adding 2 tablespoons water to the pan. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and thyme. Add the mixture to the pan with the chicken hearts. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken hearts from the pan and set aside.
- Stir in the heavy cream and return to the stovetop. Bring to a boil until thickened. Serve immediately.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Chicken Hearts?
Chickens don’t only produce breast meat, wings, legs, thighs, and drumsticks; there are also several different types of organs in the body.
One such organ is the heart.
The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the entire body, so it must remain strong and powerful.
When food isn’t properly metabolized by our bodies, we often experience symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, or headaches.
Eating foods rich in nutrients helps maintain good health overall.
In fact, many cultures around the world prefer to eat more “hearty” meats than leaner ones because these contain more protein, fat, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The USDA reports that one medium (4 ounce) serving of chicken hearts contains 6 grams of protein and 12 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron per day.
That means even though they aren’t commonly eaten today, chicken hearts still provide plenty of nutrition!
When you look at the nutritional breakdown of chicken hearts, you see that they’re higher in calories than most other meats on the market.
A 4 ounce serving of chicken hearts contains about 240 calories compared to beef which has just over 100 calories per pound.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Chicken Hearts?
Chickens typically eat small amounts of food at any one time because their digestive tract does not contain teeth or jaws.
As such, chickens don’t need much in the way of chewing before swallowing.
In order to get nutrients from their diet, chickens must extract them through the process of digestion which takes place in the gizzard, pancreas, stomach, liver, and intestines.
When it comes to extracting nutrients from raw foods like chicken hearts, the best strategy is to break down large molecules into smaller ones by using enzymes found in the gizzards.
Enzymes help the body digest protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more.
The heart muscle itself contains very little fat so there isn’t much to extract from it either, leaving only proteins, water, and minerals (such as calcium) intact.
The final product of an enzyme-assisted breakdown is known as an amino acid.
Amino acids form the building blocks of protein which is what most people think of when they hear “protein.”
There are twenty different kinds of amino acids including eight essential amino acids which humans cannot produce on their own; these include tryptophan, histidine lysine, leucine, valine, methionine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and threonine.
These eight essential amino acids make up about 70% of the total protein content of your body.
Amino acids play many roles in the human body.
They act as catalysts, regulators, messengers, and transmitters.
For example, histamine is made from an amino acid called histidine.
Histamine causes allergic reactions throughout the body by acting as an inflammatory agent.
It also helps regulate blood pressure and heartbeat, among other functions.
One type of histamine, called mast cell histamine, triggers inflammation and swelling around injured tissues.
When released, histamine stimulates immune cells to fight infections, reduces pain sensitivity, and increases circulation.
It turns out that chicken hearts are rich in four of those eight essential amino acids (leucine, valine, lysine, and arginine).
Chicken hearts are also high in vitamin B12, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, selenium, and riboflavin.
Heart Health Benefits
If eating chicken hearts makes you feel better after consuming them, then we should all do our part to ensure that they stay available to us!
Chicken Hearts Recipe
Here are two recipes for making chicken hearts with easy directions included:
- Baked Chicken Heart Recipe
- Broiled Chicken Heart Recipe
Are Chicken Hearts Good For You?
The heart of a chicken contains more protein than any other muscle tissue on a chicken (about 34% by weight).
It also provides essential amino acids such as lysine, which makes it an excellent source of complete proteins.
In addition, chicken hearts contain vitamins A and D, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorous, selenium, potassium, and magnesium.
All these nutrients contribute to overall nutrition and help maintain bone density, blood pressure, skin integrity, and energy levels.
The fact that chicken hearts provide all of these important components without adding much fat or sodium means they’re ideal for those who want to eat healthier.
Another reason why chicken hearts are so nutritious is because they don’t require cooking.
They’re already cooked when they come from the factory, making them easy to prepare at home.
If you haven’t tried chicken hearts before, here are three reasons you should give them a try now.
- They taste amazing! Chicken hearts are sweet, tender, and juicy with no off flavors whatsoever.
- You get plenty of protein – almost half your daily requirement!
- Not only do chicken hearts make a quick and easy dinner option, they’re also perfect for entertaining guests – everyone loves chicken hearts!
Tips for preparing chicken hearts
Before you start cooking chicken hearts, there are several things you need to know about how to properly cook them.
First, make sure you buy fresh ones.
If you find yourself buying frozen chicken hearts, thaw them completely before using them.
You can use raw chicken hearts for recipes like fried rice, but once they’ve been frozen, their texture changes significantly.
Second, remove the membranes from the chicken hearts.
These thin pieces of connective tissue are part of what gives the hearts their unique flavor and texture.
To remove them, simply pull apart the two halves of each heart and gently squeeze out any excess fluid.
After removing the membranes, rinse the chicken hearts thoroughly under cold water.
Finally, pat dry with paper towels to ensure the chicken hearts absorb the maximum amount of moisture possible.
Once you’ve cleaned the chicken hearts, you can proceed with cooking them however you prefer.
Here are a couple of different ways to do it.
Fried chicken hearts
For this recipe, you’ll need one 12-ounce package of chicken hearts, 1/4 cup flour, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
Start by rinsing the chicken hearts in cool running water.
Once they’ve been washed, drain well and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
Next, whisk together the egg, flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl until smooth and pour over the chicken hearts.
Using your hands, toss the mixture around to coat the entire surface evenly.
Make sure you cover every last bit of the chicken hearts.
Next, spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium high heat.
When hot, add the chicken hearts and fry for 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
When done, transfer to a plate and serve immediately while warm.
If desired, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
Baked chicken hearts
To bake this dish, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
In another large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and pepper until combined.
Add the eggs, milk, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the bowl and stir until everything comes together into a thick batter.
Pour the batter evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
After pouring the batter in the pan, lay the chicken hearts on top and press down firmly.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
How Many Calories Are In Chicken Hearts?
The calorie count on chicken hearts varies depending on how much of it you eat.
The USDA Food Database lists one ounce (28 grams) of cooked hearts at 160 calories.
But there isn’t any specific information about how many calories are in raw or uncooked hearts, so we don’t know exactly what size portion would give us the right amount of energy.
However, an additional 16 ounces (453 grams) of raw heart tissue gives you 1,360 calories.
If you ate two servings per day, then your daily intake would be 4880 calories from chicken hearts alone.
That’s enough to keep most adults in tip-top shape without adding any extra exercise.
To get an idea of how many calories are in different types of food, use our calorie calculator.
You’ll find that chicken hearts only come close to being the lowest calorie option available, with beef hearts coming next and pork hearts beating them all by several hundred calories each.
Is chicken hearts high in cholesterol?
Cholesterol is found in every part of the body, including the blood cells and organs.
It helps maintain fluid balance inside cells and provides building blocks for hormones and bile acids.
When too little or too much cholesterol enters the bloodstream, it can eventually build up in arteries leading to clogged vessels and plaque formation.
Since the liver makes almost all of the cholesterol in the human body, you need to watch what goes into your diet.
Eating more saturated fats like those found in cheese and butter, along with trans fats found in processed foods, increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease and stroke.
So when eating fatty meats such as beef or lamb, choose leaner cuts or go for poultry instead.
If you want to avoid excess amounts of cholesterol altogether, try cutting down on red meat consumption and increasing your intake of plant sources of protein.
Fruits and vegetables contain fiber that keeps the bowels moving and prevents constipation, which means less chance of absorbing bad cholesterol through the intestinal walls.
What Is The Fat Content Of Chicken Hearts?
The heart is primarily made up of muscle tissue, which means it contains no fat whatsoever.
However, because the heart is so large, it does contain some connective tissues, along with collagen fibers and blood vessels.
The collagen fibers give the heart its structure while the blood vessels allow for blood flow through the organ.
While the heart doesn’t actually contain any fat at all, there is some fatty material around the arteries and veins.
These fats help keep the artery walls from hardening too quickly after death.
Since the arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the body, these fats also protect against atherosclerosis (hardened arteries).
If your goal is to eat low-fat foods, then chicken hearts aren’t the right choice since they don’t contain any fat at all.
But if you want to get more fiber or nutrients, then chicken hearts make an excellent option.
How Much Protein Is In Chicken Hearts?
Protein is an important part of any diet because it helps build muscle tissue, which keeps your body strong and prevents many diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, and more.
The USDA recommends eating at least 20 grams of protein per day for adults, while children need even more.
The best sources of protein are lean meats such as fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
Chicken hearts contain 20 percent protein by weight, making them a good source of high-quality protein if eaten on their own or combined with other foods.
Poultry contains about 15 percent protein compared to beef (17 percent) and pork (16 percent).
However, when cooked properly, all three types of red meat can offer similar amounts of protein without negatively affecting overall nutrition.
While most people don’t eat enough protein, those who do consume too little risk developing conditions such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and type 2 diabetes.
According to one study published in the International Journal of Obesity, consuming a daily diet higher in protein could help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in individuals already suffering from hypertension.
In addition to containing protein, chicken hearts also have plenty of iron and zinc, both essential nutrients necessary for proper functioning of our bodies.
Iron is needed for oxygen transport throughout the body, while zinc plays a role in maintaining bone density, immune function, and wound healing.
What Are The Vitamins And Minerals In Chicken Hearts?
The heart contains a lot of nutrients, including vitamin B-12, zinc, riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and even calcium.
All these nutrients help boost your immune system and keep your body functioning properly.
They also support growth and development, energy production, metabolism, tissue repair, oxygenation of cells, cell membrane integrity, and nerve function.
To get all those essential nutrients from chicken hearts, it’s important to remove any visible fat or connective tissues.
After removing the excess material, cook them with flavorful sauces like soy sauce, garlic, ginger, or chili paste for maximum flavor.
- 1 Pan
- 1 Bowl
- 1 lb. chicken hearts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a sizable bowl, combine the chicken hearts, cumin, smoked paprika, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Mix everything together with a large spoon or your hands to evenly distribute the oil and seasonings over the hearts.
- For about 3 minutes, heat a sizable, heavy frypan over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken hearts with seasonings. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until well cooked and browned. Reduce the heat to medium if the pan gets too hot.
- Place the hearts among the four plates. Serve them with a parsley garnish and a drizzle of the pan juices.