In my continuing efforts to cook and eat interesting things I have not tried before, I picked up a pound of chicken hearts from the local Asian market.
The heart is a unique muscle. It is the only cardiac muscle in the body, so if you have not tried heart before you have never had anything quite like it. I will give a basic recipe for hearts with onions and for a chicken heart soup.
To prepare Chicken Hearts and Onions you will need:
some olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken hearts
1/2 onion cut in small strips
about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup red wine
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
a dash of fish sauce
ground black pepper
First, heat a medium sized pan, add oil, and sweat the onion. When the onions have become soft, add the chicken hearts and cook them on the outside, then pour in the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and fish sauce. At this point the liquid should half cover the hearts, put on black and aleppo peppers to taste, cover and let simmer for five to ten minutes until hearts appear cooked and the liquid now almost covers them. uncover until the liquid has reduced down to a sauce and serve. This dish can be a side or main course and goes well with eggs, bread or vegetable sides.
Chicken Heart Soup is something I make when one of us is sick. The hearts work well here because of their texture, and the fact that they are already soup size. Like most soups, this one can use almost any combination of vegetable you prefer. I will list the ones I commonly use. For this recipe I also make some simple noodles.
You will need:
1 diced onion
1 or 2 peppers ( I use jalapeños but this varies depending on the heat level you want )
About 10 cups of water
2 chicken bullion packets ( you can use chicken broth, but I find bullion easier to keep around )
a dash of fish sauce
black pepper and aleppo pepper to taste
4 or 5 potatoes cut in small squares
3 or 4 carrots cut to a similar size
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken hearts
For the pasta
one to two eggs
one to two cups all-purpose flour
First, add a small amount of oil to a large pot on medium high heat, heat the oil, then add the chopped onion and pepper. Sweat the onion and then add water, bullion, fish sauce and spices, cover and keep on medium low heat to help them combine. At this point, I like to chop the vegetables, when that is done, add them and the hearts to the soup, leave uncovered and bring it to a simmer. This will simmer for a long time, until the potatoes and carrots are soft, so in the mean time make the pasta. This is not as hard as it sounds. First, get your electric mixer, or do it by hand if you want to be boring, add one or two eggs depending on the amount you want. I use two because I like a lot of noodles in my soup. Add a little of the flour, and mix slowly, keep adding small amounts of flour until the dough is holding together in a ball but is not too sticky, if you add too much flour and the dough starts to fall apart, just sprinkle it with water until it is back together. flour a flat surface and roll the dough as thin as you like (remember it will double in size when you cook it) then take a long knife or a pizza cutter and cut it into long strips, then lay them flat, loosely cover, and leave aside. When the potatoes are soft, add the noodles and let them boil for about five minutes, or until they float. Always taste a noodle before deciding if they are done. When the noodles are finished serve and enjoy, or don’t, up to you really.