In trying to make a cuban sandwich the other week, I dropped by my local butcher to buy some pork shoulder. While I was there, I noticed that they had chicken hearts on special, so naturally, I had to get myself half a kilo’s worth.
The idea may seem a bit gruesome to some people, but I see chicken hearts as every other type of offal. It certainly has a milder taste than liver, for one, and I love the firm texture. I’ve only experienced them grilled, liberally salted and smoky from the barbecue, and they are DELICIOUS.
After a bit of researching, I decided on a Japanese based marinade of soy and mirin. Then, inspired by the chicken heart skewers that I had at Chica Linda, bacon was added into the mix. The result was a moreish snack, perfect to go with a late afternoon beer.
Chicken Heart and Bacon Skewers
Makes about 10 skewers
500g chicken hearts
300g bacon, cut into small rectangles
[For the marinade]
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
[For the finishing salt]
1 tbsp dried onion
1 tbsp smoked salt
Rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
Trim the fatty tops off the chicken hearts and make sure that isn’t any remaining membrane. If there is, it’ll slide right off.
Mix the ingredients for the marinade, and place the chicken hearts in it for a few hours, or over night.
Soak bamboo skewers, if you’re using those, or prepare your metal skewers.
Heat your grill – or if you’re using an oven, to as high a setting as it would go – because chicken hearts should be cooked hot and fast.
Alternately thread the chicken hearts and bacon on to the skewers, then grill, basting with the marinade as you go.
Serve with lemon wedges and parsley.
If you don’t fancy having the hearts on a stick, you can also heat a pan on high and give it a super quick fry.