Fried Chicken Gizzards Recipe

In this Southern Fried Chicken Gizzards recipe, gizzards are marinated in a spicy bath of buttermilk and hot sauce then battered in seasoned flour and fried to golden brown perfection!!

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Fried gizzards on a plate with sauce.

For every 10 fried chicken lovers, there is at least one fried chicken gizzard lover.  In my family, that lover is my Uncle BB. For as long as I can remember, we have had to make a stop at a KFC in Effingham, Illinois on the way back from our annual round trips to Mississippi to visit my grandparents.

Many places don’t make fried gizzards so I decided it was time to put a recipe for this unique Southern classic right here on the blog.

The secret to the best recipe for chicken gizzards starts with marinating them in buttermilk. Then we add on more flavor with some hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

Next, seasoned flour, similar to my breading recipe for chicken fried steak, coats the gizzards. When fried, they come out perfectly crispy and delicious.  Using this three-fold process to add flavor, you will get a bit of spice in every single bite!

What Are Gizzards?

Gizzards are a muscle found in most fowl or organs of the chicken.  They are super small, and their texture is unlike what you would expect from chicken.  

Because of their chewy texture, they can end up tough if they aren’t cooked properly. In this recipe for chicken gizzards soak in a buttermilk bath. The acid in the buttermilk helps break down a bit of the toughness without taking away its signature taste. 

Why You Will Love This Chicken Gizzard Recipe

  • Budget-friendly. Cooking with this inexpensive ingredient is one way to save some money on groceries.
  • Great flavor and texture. Perfectly seasoned and delicious meal idea.
  • Easy to make. Not necessarily quick since they have to marinate but with a little thought in advance, these are easy enough for even a quick weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

Other than the chicken gizzards, this recipe is made using pantry staples! I’m betting you already have many of them on hand.

Ingredients to make southern fried chicken gizzards on the table.
  • Gizzards: You can buy these by the package in the refrigerated poultry section in most grocery stores.
  • Buttermilk: Used to marinate and tenderize the gizzards.
  • Hot sauce: Adds flavor to the marinade and is great to serve for dipping too!
  • Self-rising flour: This slightly seasoned and prepared flour works perfectly for breading meats.
  • Seasonings: I use a combination of seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika. I love the addition of garlic powder to give it that distinctive flavor. And for a kick, both cayenne, and paprika are added to the bunch.  
  • Oil: The oil is just going to be used for frying so be sure to choose a vegetable oil that is good for high heat. 

How to Make Fried Gizzards

All it takes are a few easy steps to make the best recipe for fried chicken gizzards!!!

  1. The first step when making fried gizzards is to start with trimming the excess fat and gristle.
  2. Next, add the buttermilk and hot sauce to a plastic storage bag and shake to combine. After it’s mixed add gizzards to the bag and allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours.
Chicken gizzards coated in flour on a baking tray.
  1. When the marinating time is almost finished marinating, add the flour, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika to a large bag. Use a whisk and mix everything until combined.
  2. Once the gizzards are done soaking, add them a few at a time to the bag of seasoned flour and shake to evenly coat the gizzards. Then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then into the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set the flour.
Fried chicken gizzards draining on a paper towel
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is at least 2-3 inches high in the pan.
  2. Add the gizzards to the skillet and fry until golden brown. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on paper towels.

How to Serve Chicken Gizzards

Serve up chicken gizzards immediately after cooking! Use some of the ideas below to create meals with them as the centerpiece!

Overhead view of chicken gizzards on a white plate with buffalo sauce.

Expert Tips and FAQs

This post has all you need to know about how to gizzards! Here are a few tips to help you get the best results!

  • Deep Fryer: Works best if you have one. This way you don’t have to turn them over and they cook evenly on all sides. If not, try using a smaller, deeper pan so the level of oil is higher.
  • Marinate: The marinating step is crucial to making the best fried chicken gizzards since it softens the toughness of the meat.
What do chicken gizzards taste like?

The taste is very distinctive. They are much chewier than regular chicken meat and the taste resembles dark meat like legs and thigh pieces from a whole chicken.

How do you make chicken gizzards tender?

There are two ways to make gizzards more tender. The first is to cook them slowly over low heat in liquid to soften the meat. The second, which is perfect for fried gizzards, is adding a marinade with ingredients such as buttermilk to help break the toughness of the muscle down.

Chicken gizzards served up on plates on the table with side of hot sauce.

More Fried Food Recipes

*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!

Close up of fried chicken gizzards on a plate.

Fried Chicken Gizzards Recipe

In this tender chicken gizzards recipe, the gizzards are first marinated in a spicy bath of buttermilk and hot sauce, then battered in a seasoned flour and finally fried to golden brown perfection.
4.41 from 44 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gizzards
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 ¼ cup self rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • Start by trimming the excess fat and gristle from the chicken gizzards.
  • Add buttermilk and hot sauce to a plastic storage bag and shake to combine. Add gizzards to bag and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • To a large bag, add flour, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika and whisk until combined.
  • Once gizzards are done soaking, add gizzards a few at a time to seasoned flour bag and shake to evenly coat then place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to set flour.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat. Make sure oil is at least 2-3 inches tall.
  • Fry until golden brown then drain on paper towels.

Notes

  • Deep Fryer: Works best if you have one. This way you don’t have to turn them over and they cook evenly on all sides. If not, try using a smaller, deeper pan so the level of oil is higher.
  • Marinate: The marinating step is crucial to making the best fried chicken gizzards since it softens the toughness of the meat.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 1626mg | Potassium: 210mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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This post was originally published in June 2018. It has been updated with new photos and content in August 2022.

Filed Under:  Appetizers, Chicken, Dinner, Southern Classics, Stovetop, Super Bowl and Game Day Party

Comments

  1. My love of chicken fried gizzards started when I started frying Sunday chicken at age 11. The gizzard was my prize for frying all that chicken! At the table my dad looked at me and said “Where’s the gizzard Sha?” I just smiled at him and told him I ate it and continued eating. That is how I became a closet chicken fried gizzards person! This recipe brings me a smile?

  2. Looks very.delicious and can.also used as starter for family gatherings..will start consider gizzards as favourite snack..

  3. Usually I am not a fan of gizzard. But after checking your recipe, I am starting to have second thought. This looks delicious especially with the hot sauce.

  4. What a special recipe! I confess that I was never confident about making gizzards because I was afraid they’d be tough but the buttermilk marinade made all the difference. So tasty!

  5. These gizzards are marinated to give the most tender center with a nice crispy coating. Once of my new favorites!

  6. Fantastic! Making the chicken tenders now. Thank you for the best carrot cake ever and for all your insights. And mostly your passion. Do you have a killer recipe for Chicken Livers? Interesting because the livers are probably the most common of the innards, I have never, and I mean never found a great recipe for them. What I love is that this food encompasses many places/religions, cultures. Popeyes Chicken used to sell them, but I cannot find a Popeyes. So, watcha got??

  7. I’ve loved gizzards since I can remember, for the flavor but rarely for the texture. Here in the midwest they’re usually just battered and fried, hard as erasers. Then I had them in a salad at a French restaurant, and discovered they could be tenderize by a slow simmer (with onion, garlic, celery, the usual suspects). Since, I’ve found them sliced into Asian stir-fry, added to soups and minced into stuffing but always tenderized first. I don’t have a pressure cooker, so I take the slow road, then batter and fry if that’s where I’m headed, but the broth is half the reward.

4.41 from 44 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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