Dishin': A Bag of Organ Meats from Chicken Valley

Call us crazy. Crazy about chicken—especially the organs.

We frequently find ourselves at the north end of Pike Place Market, anxious for a stroll through the stands of fruits and vegetables. Oh, check out those perfect plums. The intriguing heirloom tomatoes. Berries, berries, and more berries. Everything looks so gorgeous, so delicious, so fresh…

And then comes that smell, the one that overrides everything else in our hearts, minds and stomachs. The smell of FRIED. Just short of the flying fish, we come upon Chicken Valley Farm Stores, and we can’t help ourselves. Must have fried organ meats.

Seattlest can never decide between the gizzards and the livers, but luckily no decision is necessary. We fork over a few George Washingtons and ask for some of each.

There’s something perverse about carrying fried meat around the fresh market. We love to reach into the grease-stained brown paper bag and pull out a bite-sized morsel. Once past the peppery crunchiness of breading, the livers are velvety with a melt-in-your-mouth feel, while the gizzards offer longer-lasting, chewy goodness. The textures are intoxicating, a nice contrast to that of muscle meat.

Sure, you can ask for a drumstick, a breast, or a thigh (you can even buy pieces or the chicken whole to cook yourself). But that’s rather pedestrian, isn’t it? When we’re pedestrians at our beloved city market, we follow our noses to the Valley to get some giblets. Some might say they’re offal, but for us they’re far from awful.

Originally published at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on September 8, 2006.

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