This is an old family recipe, at least 70 years old but probably much older (my dad can only remember that far back). We’ve always called it sofrit, which in Italian means to fry. Nothing in this recipe is fried.
It’s interesting to note that chicken gizzards and hearts in hot pepper sauce is called spezzi in parts of Rhode Island (but not our part). And, while I thought this was one of our unique family recipes, I found that it is on the menu of nearly every Italian restaurant in Rhode Island. To eat sofrit…soak Italian bread in the hot pepper sauce and scoop up the tender meat.
Sofrit, or Chicken Gizzards & Hearts in Hot Sauce Recipe
- 2 pounds chicken gizzards and hearts
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 1 six-ounce can tomato paste
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder or 6 cloves of fresh garlic finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or red pepper seeds more if you like it hotter
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- Italian bread
- Prepare chicken gizzards and hearts by removing gristle and then dicing.
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. If using fresh garlic, sauté until tender but not brown.
- Add tomato paste and 1 cup of water. Add garlic powder, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper; mix well. Add remaining 3 cups of water. Add diced chicken gizzards and bay leaf. Simmer on low heat until gizzards are tender, about 1½-2 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve with Italian bread.
Hot peppers in oil are used in some variations of the recipe instead of the red pepper seeds.