This is my Duck Gizzard Story. What’s yours?
One Saturday afternoon, I ventured into the Asian Supermarket. I don’t know what I expected, but when i walked through the automatic doors I thought to myself, it’s like Safeway.
And so it was and so it wasn’t. There were cuts of meat (many of them the innards of body parts I never considered to be edible). All I will say is, some of it looked a tad disgusting, but that’s me, the old, white guy, whose mother cooked roasts, string beans, and mashed potatoes. I looked every which way at these meats but I couldn’t conjure up any appetite for pig’s feet, intestines, or squid tentacles. If you like this stuff, please don’t be insulted. People should not be judged on their meat preferences. Just write me off as an insensitive food critic.
Truth be told I went in with the mind to find something new or different to make for dinner. That’s why I was perusing the meat and seafood areas, which were huge by the way. When my eyes landed on Styrofoam trays of duck gizzards, I remembered reading how good they are for us – a super food bursting with protein and which, ground up, was an ingredient in ancient potions for virility. I recall reading they tasted good, too. Good for me. Good for my libido. And tastes good! Win-win-win.
Okay. I made up the virility thing. At my age one hopes there are magic potions for just about everything – libido being but one of many possibilities! I don’t want you to infer that my allusion to libido-inducing potions somehow means I went shopping thinking of sex. I wasn’t, though I did stray in the produce section.
And just in case you are wondering, my libido is just fine, thank you. Sure, it may have shrunk in stature and gotten a bit too comfortable with being Master of his harem of Netflix, Crave, and Amazon Prime. Nevertheless, Lilly and I are getting by quite nicely.
Which reminds me. What’s with all the up-selling trickery on Amazon Prime? If you are not always on the ball – and who is when channel surfing – you will see a whack of new subscription charges on your Visa bill. If you are anything like me, you’ll hiss some profanity and try to persuade yourself that you will cancel them.
But not yet. When you pay for 30 days, you don’t ever cancel on day one, or day 15 or day 20. You wait until the last minute. You deserve your money’s worth of what you never wanted in the first place. Unfortunately the new 30-day period often begins the day before you went to cancel (if you went at all). Next time, you don’t even flinch when you look at your Visa bill.
Okay. I ramble about sometimes.
I dropped two packages of Duck Gizzards in my cart. I had no idea how to cook them, but how hard could it be? I would make them for an appetizer that evening. And Google and You Tube would be my teachers.
The first thing I discovered was that Duck Gizzards have to soak for at least an hour or two in warm water.
I was irritated.
I am the kind of cook who gets impatient with boiling eggs. This Duck Gizzard journey was already exceeding my expectations, but not in a good way.
I waited 90 minutes.
I turned to Google for the next step and learned I had to marinate those buggers overnight in a mound of garlic, scallions, salt and pepper and then slow cook them for a few hours on low heat covered in oil the next day.
What the fuck!
Sure, Google promised the wait would pay off with deliciously seasoned, tender morsels of duck gizzard sliding exotically down my throat to plop and sink into the pit of my belly. Still, do I seem like the kind of guy who wants to spend two days cooking Duck Gizzards?
The time did come, though. I did everything according to best practice instructions. I sautéed the gizzards in garlic butter, fresh scallions, Kosher salt, and an exotic black pepper (exotic because it cost a lot more than McCormick’s).
I dished them up onto my plate. The aroma was earthy. I cut a gizzard into three pieces with my steak knife, and respectfully impaled a piece with my fork and slid it into my mouth. I was hungry and intrigued.
I got up to grab the bottle of water I had forgotten on the kitchen counter. I opened the cupboard under the sink and leaned over and spit the Duck Gizzards in the trash. I must have spit five times. Every morsel, every minute bit of gizzard flesh had to leave my mouth. Then I downed the water, all of it, in one long gulping frenzy.
That was two years ago. These days I am happily eating roasts, and cream corn, Brussel Sprouts, and baked potatoes. I do admit that occasionally when driving down 137th Avenue I toy with slipping into the Asian Supermarket. The closest I have gotten is to pull into the parking lot.
I ended up buying a Yin and Yang tee-shirt at George Richards.
Yeh. The irony.