So when I was growing up, my mother was the queen of the gizzard, she loved to bake it besides the bird, along with the heart and neck to help flavour the stock, and it was the cook that got to eat them hot and O so flavourful in the kitchen with them never even making the table.. as a child and teen, I remember sometimes a tiny peice being cut off and being shared as a treat, so it was not until I moved out on my own that I was able to get to eat a gizzard.. Now heart was a different story, as you can buy packages of chicken hearts or livers and make whole meals of them..
In the last year, I have found out the hard way that when I say Gizzard, (and by such, I do mean the gizzard of a fowl, aka the stomach of a bird) that many folks from across N.A. believe that means Gibets, which is the word that means a collective term for poultry’s edible organs, includes heart, liver, kidneys, gizzard, head, neck, feet and wing tips. Today however if you are lucky enough to find a little package in the tummy of your bird, you will most likely get heart, liver, gizzard and neck..
So back to the Gizzard, now when you read stomach, you picture a pouch like our own, but that is not the case, it is in fact a lined hard working muscle for grinding up the birds foods, filled with bits of gravel or grit to help with this grinding process, so if you think of that job, it is the reason that improperly cooked, this is one very tough muscle, but like most many working muscles, its full of flavour.. If you buy them, they will normally be split, with both the sac and the connective tissue removed, if you in fact are butchering, it will be a heavy oval peice of meat with a thick shiny silver skin on it.. take a small very sharp knive and slice into it from the top and work your way down and though, leaving you with a open gizzard, wash well, as I am now saving the linings for cheese making, I now have a tooth brush to get them good and clean, taking your knife, slice off the back meat part, as well as the connective tubing/ tissue and or attached fat. Now this is a little hard to explain but the part that connects the meat to the sack, has a very hard feel to it, cut that part out and give as a treat to your hound or purrpot etc.
In regards to cooking, its much like heart in that it can be cooked fast or slow, both will give you delightful results, anything inbetween will be as tough as old shoe leather..I personally only rarely grill them, about 99% of the time, I slow cook them to a tender stage.. this is honestly the way I would recommend them.. Think of working with them like working with a tough older critters stew meat and you have a good base to start with your typical recipes.