Every once in a great while I get an idea that is a little out there. Most of the time I fail and it never turns into anything. But every now and again I get to stand proudly and proclaim to everyone in my house that I am a genius. My wife usually rolls her eyes and my children refuse to eat whatever it is I just created but for a brief moment I get to claim victory. My latest victory came in the form of Corned Gizzard Rueben Bites.
I have been a big fan of gizzards my entire life, only in the last 6-7 years have I really ventured out from chicken gizzards and started using all the gizzards I get from ducks and geese. I have even recruited a few of my friends to collect the gizzards from the fowl they shoot. Last year I ended up with three one gallon bags full of gizzards. That is a lot of meat that usually gets tossed out. A gizzards really is just a very dense ball of meat and most people would never eat them. If they are cooked properly they can be transformed into something very tender and delicious. As far as cleaning a gizzard you want to cut them in half and then I like to fillet the little jewels of meat away from the tough sack that hold them together. This will leave you with four little balls of meat per gizzard.
I have cooked gizzards in many different ways but my favorite way is to corn them. The corning process is just a brine that they sit in and then you simmer the gizzards for about and hour and a half. I use Hank Shaw's corning recipe and it works on everything not just gizzards. If you have never corned a venison roast or my personal favorite an antelope roast you really don't know what you're missing. I personally feel that every hunter should learn how to apply the corning process to the game they get it is as valuable as learning to field dress an animal.
After the gizzards have been corned you will know they are done when you can mash them with a fork. Let them cool and dry. then Shred 8 oz. of swill cheese and mix it with 1 cup of drained sauerkraut.
The gizzards lose some of their size during the cooking process and end up as perfect little nuggets of meats.
Place two balls of meat on each tooth pick .
This is where the fun begins. grab a handful of the cheese and kraut mixture and try to form it around the gizzards. It requires a little packing and repacking but holds pretty well.
as soon as you get the kraut and cheese mixture to stick on the gizzards place them in the freezer for about and hour to keep the balls from falling apart.
While the gizzards are in the freezer you can mix up your rye batter for the outside. I used a mixture of corn meal and rye flour and got the perfect texture for the breading.
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground caraway seed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
The batter should be a little thick, you want it to stick to the little pops and not drip at all.
Once they are battered drop them into the oil heated to 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes. the Rueben bites will get a little darker than golden brown and that is the color you are shooting for.
Once you pull them out of the oil you can remove the tooth picks and serve them up hot.
These little Rueben bites were amazing. I know they were amazing because my wife who normally dislikes all things offal related ate them and said they were really good. Serve them up with a little thousand Island dressing and you have the perfect appetizer and you get to shock your friends who will never believe that gizzards could taste this good.