No Garlic Planted And Chicken Gizzard Balls Result

No Garlic Planted And Chicken Gizzard Balls ResultIt was back in the village farmhouse after a two-week absence. The plan was to sow 1,000 garlic sets for early green garlic for salads early in the spring. All was fine travelling the 37 kilometres in the pitch-black countryside knowing that there was a wood burner waiting to get started when we get there alongside a salad and the new batch of rakia that was brought along. Today was the start of winter weather and was the first day of frost overnight as the supply of fresh daily peppers form the factory farm took their last bow.

We needed this short break this weekend, as it is an extra working day next week working Saturday to make up for one of the non-public holidays in the four-day break at Christmas. We don’t get paid for any public holidays either, that is how it is here with many Bulgarian firms.

Effectively we lose four days pay over the holiday period due. Initially I thought we have been hard done by, but thinking about it again, this makes complete sense, why should you get paid for not working? I had it too easy in the UK it seems getting full pay for a total of around 12 weeks year in year out on holidays when the schools are shut. Having said that, most professionals, including teachers here do get paid during holidays as well, but they are the exception to the working class rule.

Back to the village farmhouse it is a cold house we met, but that was short lived as the fire was started and the thaw began. Within the hour it was a warm lived in home again and the long evening was a treat knowing that a 6:30 start wasn’t due the next day.

I woke at 6:30 the next morning as my body alarm hasn’t a switch off function. It was snowing and my initial smile dropped as I realised that the garlic sowing was going to be difficult if not impossible with the amount of the snow lying and still falling. It became an impossible task by midday as the fall continued throughout the day and evening up to the point of typing at 8:00 this evening!

Garlic on hold it was now anti-freeze in the lada radiator, a load of straw stuffed in sacks and squeezed in the water shaft to prevent freezing up when we are away and rose bushes pruned. Funny, only two days ago I was sunbathing outside during my lunchtime break in a short-sleeved shirt.

Back in the farmhouse it was a wondering mind thinking about what I could do with chicken gizzards that we had got out of the freezer. Galia was keen to cook, but I love doing the same on my home patch and got the nod to use my imagination on the gizzards. Gizzards are a quite tasteless and tough so the would need a lot of boiling and other ingredients to make them tender and a have more taste respectively. I ended up with a very complimentary result, which had full praise from Galia who is very honest in her opinions of whether she likes the food she tries. I noted all the ingredients and the process and give the recipe here:

No Garlic Planted And Chicken Gizzard Balls ResultChicken Gizzard Balls

Ingredients
500 gm Chicken gizzards
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
6 chestnuts (boiled and skinned)
100 gm sirene (goats cheese)
1 egg
Brown breadcrumbs (two slices worth)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
200 ml red wine
¼ chicken stock cube
1 teaspoon paprika pepper
Sunflower oil for shallow frying

For the batter
200 gm plain flour
1 egg
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
150 ml dark beer

Method
Tidy up and wash the gizzards. Put in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil,. Take the scum off with a ladle and simmer for at least 4 hours. (This is where a cooking space on our wood burners come in useful in.)

Prepare the batter by mixing all the ingredients together really well and putting in the fridge whilst working on the gizzard ball preparations.

Drain and rinse the gizzards with cold water. When cool, chop the gizzards up finely with a knife or use a food processor. With a little oil fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the gizzards, chicken stock, a little salt, pepper, paprika pepper and raise the heat stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and leave to simmer with a stir every so often until the wine has totally evaporated. Add the sirene and chestnuts and stir in well until the mixture is well blended.

Place the mixture into another bowl and leave to cool for 20 minutes. Add the egg and breadcrumbs and mix. Using your clean hands mould the mixture into balls the size of golf ball and lay on a plate ready for batter dipping.

Bring the batter out of the fridge (it should have been in there for at least an hour.) Heat the oil in a pan and test the right heat by place a drop of the batter in the oil, which should sizzle and turn brown after a few seconds. When ready, submerge the gizzard balls in the batter and gently place in the hot oil. You can probably get them all in one go, if not just stagger the frying.

The balls will need turning after 2-3 minutes or if the underside is lightly browned off. The same process once turned will lead to the balls being ready for placing on a plate with a kitchen towel to take up the excess oil. Leave to stand for ten minutes before serving alongside a salad, fresh bread and your favourite wine or beer.

Hot and cold they taste great and puts chicken gizzard in a new culinary light. They will last for a few days in the fridge if stored in a sealed container.

Having just digested a few just over an hour ago, my thoughts turn to eating some reheated for lunch two days later at work. Somehow though I don’t think they will last that long as Baba is due to try some out tomorrow and Galia and I will no doubt dip into them again to keep her in dining company you understand. No garlic planted, but the sliver lining is chicken gizzard balls which wouldn't have come about otherwise.
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