Pickled Duck Gizzards


There isn’t a whole lot of info out there on how to pickle a gizzard so I kind of had to make this up as I went. I had made Pickled deer heart a while back and figured I could use a similar technique for the gizzards. the only different is that gizzards if not cooked correctly can turn into small little meat rocks as hard as a golf ball. I ended up simmering these gizzards for almost two hours to make them tender. I served them up with some of my pickled pike and a radish and kohlrabi quick pickled. Paired with some crusty bread and some whole grain mustard it made for a nice afternoon snack.


This pickling recipe is a two part process, first you have to cook the gizzards and then you can pickle it. This is for one pound of gizzards.


For the cooking liquid I used:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 5 juniper berries (crushed with the side of a knife)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

Simmer the gizzards in the cooking liquid for about 2 hours or until they are tender.

For the pickling liquid

  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 10-12 allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 cloves of garlic


Bring the cider vinegar and remaining four ingredients to a boil. While that is cooking place the gizzards into a 1 pint jar with 1/4 of a thinly sliced red onion, 1 sprig of rosemary and 2 sprigs of thyme. Pour the hot liquid in to the jar and seal. Boil in a water bath for 10 minutes. Let the mixture sit for a couple of days before diving in.

Depending on how many gizzards you have you may need to use multiple jars if so just double the pickling liquid.

Recipe courtesy of Jamie Carlson and his “You Have to Cook it Right” blog.

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4 Responses to “Pickled Duck Gizzards”

  1. Kurt

    How many duck gizzards did you do with this recipe? I have 5 and a heart. Should
    I halve your recipe? Have you tried without cooking?

  2. Kurt

    Made the recipe verbatim 2 weeks ago sans juniper berries. Found that Apple cider vinegar was too much. Am on second batch. Trying with white distilled gedney vinegar and add a 1/4 c. Sugar and a half stick of cinnamon. Also, in pickling pike found that you might as well fill the jar half way way with sweet or Vandalia onions so even if you mess up the meat the onions are still fine. Both batches I have done a combo of hearts and gizzard from everything from wood duck to ring bill. On a ps note. You can get juniper berries from whole foods by the ounce.