RECIPE: Chicken gizzards that will leave you begging for more

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This week we indulge in chicken gizzards, a truly South African delicacy. Registered dietician Mpho Tshukudu shares a recipe from the thought-provoking book about African cuisine, Eat Ting.

Tshukudu believes that African foods and delicacies are not only beautiful and healthy, but deserves to be celebrated.

‘If we ignore ancestors’ foods, we become someone else’

She says she makes her chicken mala (intestines) and hearts with bogobe ba ting (sorghum), guaranteed to fill your taste buds with the nostalgia of rural living.

Long simmering turns gizzards into deliciously tender morsels that she flavours with a zesty lime and garlic marinade. Chicken hearts are small and delicate, and also easy to prepare making them ideal for a quick weeknight dinner!


450 g chicken mala (chicken intestines)

2 cups water

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2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp whole black peppercorns

4 – 6 dried bay leaves

¼ cup vinegar

450 g chicken hearts

2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock

1 quantity lime, ginger and garlic marinade

Wild garlic leaves and flowers to garnish


  1. Buy chicken intestines (ask for mala or amathumbu enkhukhu) only from a trusted retailer – some vendors do not clean them thoroughly. Even if you trust the seller, clean them again by gently squeezing with your fingers to remove any remaining waste then water through them.
  2. Put 2 cups water in a pot and bring to the boil.

3.  Add the salt, peppercorns, dried bay leaves and vinegar.

4.  Add the cleaned intestines and simmer until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

5.  In a separate pot, boil the chicken hearts in stock for 15 minutes until tender.

6.  Remove cooked mala and hearts and discard liquid.

7.  Marinate the mala and hearts in lime, ginger and garlic marinade for at least an hour but preferably overnight.

8.  Remove the mala and heart from the marinade. Melt butter in a wide frying pan.

9.  Add mala and hearts and brown well. Garnish with wild garlic leaves and flowers and serve with bogobe ba ting or sorghum porridge.


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