Some of you might have taken one look at this title and squealed in disgust. (As someone who even once frolicked in the green grassy knolls of vegetarianism..but let’s be real I stunk at it and would “forget” whenever there was chicken alfredo around) — I once would have had the same squeamish reaction.
But I truly 1000% believe that we must start asking ourselves why? Meat is meat is meat. If we are going to consume animals then we need to — for everyone’s sakes — be a little more responsible. To start using and eating and enjoying more parts of them than just the ones we’re most familiar with.
Eating is an adventure that we can embark on every day. Try something different. Explore new flavors. Stay Curious.
This flatbread is an easy and delicious way to try a new cut. Hearts are a yummy bite of meat with a bouncy texture and gamy taste. Think wild chicken(?). And there’s plenty of things we already love coming to the play — balsamic, parsley, lemon — to keep one foot in our comfort zone. Basically the point is you really can throw anything on a pizza.
Chicken Hearts Flatbread with Arugula Salad
- 6 ounces chicken or duck hearts about 5-8 pieces
- 1 LB pizza dough
- 1 shallot diced
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds crushed
- 1/2 tsp red chile flakes
- 2 sprigs oregano leaves
- large handful parsely chopped
- 2 scallions diced
- best quality balsamic vinegar
For the Salad:
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tsp capers
- 1 TB golden raisins
- squeeze lemon
PREHEAT OVEN TO 425*
Take a moment to acknowledge the adorable tiny hearts and appreciate the animals they once belonged to. Trim the tops with extra outer tubes off. Leave the fat. Slice each piece lengthwise into four sections.
Place them in a small bowl and rinse-rinse til the water runs pretty clear. Alternatively you could marinate them in buttermilk for an hour or up to overnight. Pat dry. Set aside.
Liberally drizzle olive oil on your heaviest baking sheet. Stretch the pizza dough out to the four corners of the earth aka rather thin. Season the top generously with salt and pepper (and whatever else suits your fancy). Pop in the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
Set up your station: In a small bowl combine the herbs and scallions. set aside.
In a medium bowl toss the arugula with the capers and golden raisins. (Chopping these bits is optional. You do you.) Give it a good loving squeeze of lemon. Set aside.
When the flatbread is halfway through cooking time: Get a large skillet over medium-high heat with a swig of oil. Add the diced shallot and saute a minute.
Increase the heat just a tad, then add the hearts, fennel, pepper flakes. Season.
Let them sear and develop some browning. Stir to ensure even cooking.
*** For duck it'll take five minutes max to keep a nice pink center. Chicken a few minutes more. But these are tiny nubs of meat so try not to overcook them. Probably a good time to check the flatbread! If it's all golden and crisp take it out. If not -- throw it back in the oven til it's ready to be responsible.
Take the pan off the heat. Empty the bowl of herbs into the pan and toss, letting everything mingle.
Once the flatbread is finished, get ready to assemble!
Spread the arugula mixture onto the flatbread, then spoon the herb-tossed hearts on top along with some of the pan juices.
Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and plenty of balsamic. Serve immediately.
- Visit your local butcher or call up a nearby farm to find some hearts. They're easier to find than you think.
This recipe is part of series called “The Uglies.” It’s about taking the odd and forgotten bits and giving them some sunshine.