Stewed Pupik Was A Success

Stewed Chicken GizzardsThis time around, I tried slow cooking the gizzards, and they came out beautifully.  My husband says they’re just like his mom used to make.

This time, they were more palatable to me.  They were soft kind of like the pearl of the chicken back.  The taste and texture reminded me of that.  If I had my preference though, I’d have let them cook for more than 2 hours because the only thing I didn’t like is that bit of cartilage that joins the two sides of the gizzard.  If they cook longer, that part would melt and become a part of the sauce.

The sauce was awesome.  It was wonderful as it was, but I think with longer cooking, it would have been a good basis for aspic, a Russian appetizer that is like a meat jelly.  Indeed, the sauce did turn into a gel when it was refrigerated.

Next week, since my family likes pupik so much, I’m going to get more and experiment.  If you like dark meat, gizzards are both a tasty and extremely economical choice.  For your money, you get nothing but nice, nutritious meat that can be used for anything you’d use thighs for.  Even better, if you have pets, the pre-cooking water is a great soup to supplement their food with.

Here, thighs are about $5 per kilo, while pupiks are around $2.50 or less.  They’re sometimes on sale for $1.50.  I think they’re so cheap because you can’t just throw them in a pot and go.  They have to be pre-boiled, so people who can afford to, opt for other parts.

It’s okay.  I’ll take ’em.

Back in the Routine

The winter holidays are over, and we’re all done eating the leftovers.  I still have lots of ingredients that I overbought, but I’m not worried.  They’ll get used eventually.  That’s the beauty of raw materials.  They can be used to make lots of things.

But since the last of the cooked turkey has been souped or sandwiched, and the last of the guacamole wiped, it was time to begin the family’s routine anew.  So today I cooked a big pot of plain white beans, and another pot of chickpeas.  Tonight, I made barbecue beans with some of the white beans, and some cornbread to go with it.

I sacrificed nothing in the taste, but there is a way to go about these things without going crazy.  First off, since I like a smokey flavor in my barbecue beans, I used sausage in them.  To get the maximum flavor with the minimum fat, I grated about a quarter cup of a very well aged, dry smoked flavored salami.  This, I sauteed for a few seconds in a bit of olive oil just before adding the onions to sweat.

Second, I made my own barbecue sauce from tomato paste, mustard, chili sauce, maple syrup, garlic crystals, pepper, and vinegar.  Just dump that on top of your frying onions, and let it boil, and then put in your beans.  It came out fabulous.

A reduced fat but full taste chili can be made similarly.  Just use chili powder and tomato paste instead of the barbecue sauce.

In a moment, I’m going to take a hand blender to a bowl of the chickpeas and make some home made hummus for tomorrow’s lunch.  Yummy 🙂