Braised chicken gizzards recipe: a treat for adventurous palates!

Braised chicken gizzards recipe.

This braised chicken gizzards recipe includes cumin, ground annatto seeds or bija, and a blend of onions, garlic and herbs. A delicious treat for the adventurous palate. Easy print recipe included at the end.

Braised chicken gizzards recipe.

Dominican cuisine includes an array of foods considered unusual in certain countries: chicken feet, pig ear, cow’s tongue, guts. It is the uncommon textures that makes them an interesting eating experience. Growing up near the countryside in the Dominican Republic, my mom often needed to cook a whole chicken to feed our big family. Stoves with ovens were less common, so meats were regularly braised.

Back when the Dominican meat industry had not resorted to mass production and animals were raised in free-roaming farms, whole chickens were regularly sold alive in the market. When my dad brought home a live chicken, the ritual was always the same: kill the bird, dip it in hot water so the feathers could be plucked, then cut it and prepare it for cooking. No part of the chicken went to waste for ambitious Dominican cooks, save for the head: guts would be used for “mondongo”, and the rest could be braised. This is also the case in places like China, although just like in the DR, not everyone likes to eat those parts.

The hierarchy of chicken parts

While in the U.S.A. the breasts are the most used and therefore expensive part of the chicken, back in the Dominican Republic, drumsticks and  thighs are most everyone’s favorites. This may have something to do with dark meat tasting better when braised. As the head of the family, my dad would always get the drumsticks, while everybody else got to fight it out for the other parts, which were always cut into small portions. My mother loved the feet, or maybe that is all she got to eat after feeding a big family. To access the coveted gizzard and the heart before anyone else, I learned to hang out in the kitchen and fish my treasures out before the food made it to the table.

Fast-forward to today and I am shopping for greens at Whole Foods. What’s better than running into a pack of chicken gizzards? Running into a pack of free range, vegetarian-fed, organic chicken gizzards! Needless to say I grabbed them and came home happy as a clam. It is likely that nobody else will enjoy chicken gizzards in my household as much as I do, but that just means more for me. Enjoy!

Braised chicken gizzards recipe

Course Main
Cuisine Dominican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 lbs. chicken gizzards
  • 1 teaspoon ground annatto seeds bija or achiote
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 sliced red or white onion
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 cup of water


  1. On a medium to large sauce pan, add the oil and allow to warm on medium high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and the onions and stir until onions are almost transparent.
  3. Add the chicken gizzards and stir.
  4. Add the cumin, annatto seeds, cilantro and salt, distributing them equally around.
  5. Stir and add the water.
  6. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 25 minutes.
  7. Uncover and taste. Add more salt if needed.
  8. Serve with your favorite rice dish and salad.
  9. Enjoy!


By Antonia S.

I founded this site to share my culture and the dishes I love. My native Dominican Republic, family ties to China, and travels near and far inspire my recipes. Enjoy and SHARE! Fundé para compartir mi cultura y los platos que me gustan. Mi tierra nativa, la República Dominicana, lazos familiares de la China y mis viajes por el mundo son la inspiración para mis recetas. Disfrute y comparte!


  • This was great! Growing up in a diverse community we had all types of Spanish restaurants available to us. Not having this same cuisine available since we moved, this really took me back to my childhood. I tweaked it a bit, I did not have annatto so, I used sazon and chicken broth instead of water. I also added a few sliced spanish olives as well. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you for posting!

    • I’m glad the recipe worked for you Nancy. Tomato paste can also be used for coloring and to thicken the sauce. Spanish olives are always delish. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Made them w the tomato paste , onions & olives in the pressure cooker like mom used to make it, delicious & tender!

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