Fried Chicken Gizzards at Northern Spy Food Co. in the East Village

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Lightly breaded and fried chicken gizzards were a recent special at Northern Spy Food Co.

Founded by a pair of chefs from the Bay Area and named after an heirloom apple native to New York, Northern Spy Food Co. is the East Village's new temple of locavorism, sustainable agriculture, and humane animal husbandry.

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What is a gizzard, anyway? A gizzard is the second of two stomachs possessed by all birds. (Crocodiles and worms, and some fish, like mullets and gizzard shad, also have gizzards.) The first stomach is a regular "glandular stomach" similar to the human stomach, in which enzymes and stomach acids tenderize and break down food that has been eaten. The second stomach, or gizzard, is a masticating stomach that uses swallowed rocks or gizzard rocks generated within the organ to crush food and grind it up.

Northern Spy Food Co. takes sizable chicken gizzards and breads them with a nut-containing breading, then fries them crisp. While turkey gizzards are known for their sinew and toughness, and are most successfully stewed, chicken gizzards can be fried to a silky smoothness. The handful of gizzards are accompanied by a garlicky aioli, which provides the perfect foil to the rich gizzards. 511 East 12th Street, 212-228-5100

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