Chicken Giblets Demystified

When you buy a whole chicken, the giblets (organs) of the chicken are often included inside. Some markets also sell separate packages of chicken livers or chicken gizzards. This can be intimidating for new home cooks—what are you supposed to do with the giblets? What are those little nuggets of meat, and are they all the same?

The liver adds a rich flavor to dishes, but more importantly, it imparts a creamy texture to gravies and sauces, says mamachef. It tends to cook quickly compared to the other organs.

The other giblets taste great, but won't lend creaminess to your sauces. The kidneys have the strongest "offal" flavor of the bunch, says Quine. Gizzards have a rich flavor but take the longest to cook, says Delucacheesemonger—boil them for two and a half hours, and you'll also end up with a great chicken stock. Unlike livers, gizzards keep their solid texture after cooking—you may want to cut them into large chunks to make them more identifiable in gravy, suggests Delucacheesemonger.

Discuss: Substitute giblets for just livers