If you’ve ever been to one of those Brazilian restaurants where the meat is paraded around, fully cooked but attached to swords or skewers, you’ll get the idea. In Brazil, they also do this with chicken hearts, but I’ve not seen this in restaurants in Florida, Connecticut or Illinois — the three locations I’ve investigated to date. (I wonder if one can leave a special request with the wait staff…)
Anyhow, the proper name for this method of cooking is churrasco, and a churrascaria is the place where these meats are cooked or grilled.
And, Warning: there’s a chicken heart closeup-macro photo at the bottom of this post. (It’s better than looking at a hot dog… well, considering… )
The heart, just like the legs and the breasts of the bird, is also a muscle. This is a differentiation from many other organ meats. It is a hard-working one, too. You want not to over cook it; but of course coming from chicken, you don’t want to under cook it, either. At any rate, you don’t want this tiny little morsel of nutrition to escape you! As a child, I begged for the chicken heart from any whole chicken we prepared. (Dad was my only serious competition for it…) I can’t remotely comprehend being intimidated by it!
I took the liberty in this recipe of adding grape tomatoes to the skewers. It’s not traditional, but the two items are of similar size. AND I like ’em, and they were looking at me from the fridge, so hey…
Oh, by the way, chicken heart yakatori is found in Japan — another version of chicken hearts on a skewer. Next time I lay my hands on some quality chicken hearts, I’ll give that recipe a try!
Prep Time: 15 minutes active, plus at least an hour to marinate.
Cook Time: 7 – 8 minutes on a hot grill.
Rest Time: About 5 minutes, but mainly for the sake of cooling down those grape tomatoes!
Serves: As an appetizer, consider somewhere between half a skewer to a full skewer per person.
Special equipment: Bamboo skewers. (You could use the metal skewers, but be careful of your fingers – the metal will retain the heat!)
Brazilian Charrasco-Style Chicken Hearts
* 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.
* about 10 grape tomatoes
Very yummers. I am looking forward to trying that Japanese version later this fall!
This Brazilian creation was made LATE last April, but then for posting I was focusing on providing for Cinco de Mayo. So, this, and the photos… they sat a bit.