It's game day! You know what that means, don't you? It means the football obsessed men in our lives are craving football food. And because it really turns out to be only 12-14 days out of the year, I like to oblige him. For my husband, football food means big sandwiches, hot wings, and fried food.
One of his favorites are fried gizzards. Although fried gizzards are much easier to find down here in the south than they were up north, I still just have a hard time with fried foods that have been held on a steam table. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of frying foods, if you ask me. I have another problem with store bought fried gizzards... they leave them whole. I just cannot tolerate eating a whole gizzard at once. The toughness in a mouthful of that size just does me in.
Here is what the gizzards look like whole when you buy them. Granted, that's just a paring knife there, but that gizzard is still nearly three inches across. I like gizzards for the flavor more than the texture.
So, I cut them into much smaller, bite-sized pieces. Not only do they cook more quickly and evenly, but they are much easier to eat. If you've always been a bit turned off by fried gizzards, I suggest you try them this way before you completely write them off. It makes a huge difference.
Now, I tried all kinds of batters and breadings, and the one that is the best is a simple batter. Fried gizzards, in my book, are best with a crunchy, dense (aka not fluffy) coating, so you don't want to add baking powder to the batter. Flour, water, seasoning, and a little bit of oil are all you need. It may sound odd to add oil to the batter when you are frying them in oil, but I really found that they develop a better color when there is a bit of oil in the batter.
1 cup flour
1 cup water (adjust as necessary)
2 tsp seasoning salt (such as Lawry's)
1 TBS vegetable oil
Cut the gizzards into nice, small, bite-sized pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel. Start your oil heating in a pan or frying appliance. Use a fry thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Shoot for keeping things around 375 degrees F.
Mix the flour, water, seasoning, and oil together in a bowl. The amount of water needed may vary depending on the flour and the day. You want a batter that is smooth and thick enough to coat the pieces well, but thin enough that you don't end up with huge chunks of batter clinging to the gizzards. Dip the gizzards into the batter and drop one by one into the hot oil. Stir to break them up (they will tend to clump when first added). Fry until they float and are a nice golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined tray and sprinkle with a little additional seasoned salt. Serve immediately!