The gizzard of a bird is a specialized stomach that grinds food.Not sure if you’ve ever noticed but birds don’t have teeth. They swallow their food pretty much whole, it is stored in the crop only chopped from the pecking and swallowing motion, from where it then passes to a very small “stomachy looking” glandular stomach and finally to the gizzard. Birds swallow stones that help the large strong muscle mill the food. This is pretty impressive when you consider some the hard food birds eat like cracked corn, seeds and such.
And though this may only be of interest to some, I’m going to give you the wikipedia etymology of the word gizzard (because its cool and leads to my next point). The word “gizzard” comes from the Middle English giserdd, which derives from a similar word in Old French, and earlier from the Vulgar Latin “*gicerium”, which follows from the Latin word “gigeria”, meaning cooked entrails of poultry.
Which leads me to my next point, cooking the gizzard. I recall eating gizzards as a tiny tot and loving them. As an adult, I rarely cooked things with gizzards. As I have been learning to prepare my own birds, I have not known how to extract the usable parts of the gizzard. My mother showed me with ease and expertise just how to do this.
First, find the hole that had led to the glandular stomach (we had already sliced it open which is why it is parted along the bottom).
Then, slice from then hole downward along the natural groove.
Once this is done, you can invert the gizzard so that the thick sac holding the contents is sticking out.
You then peel the sac out whole.
What you have left behind is the meat of the gizzard. There are a number of ways you can cook the gizzard at this point. We chose to finely chop it and use it as part of a gravy.