Chicken Hearts Brazilian Style

We first tasted chicken hearts in Brazil, and have been trying to recreate them ever since. These are a real conversation starter for a dinner party, and we bet that even your most squeamish guests will surprise themselves by enjoying them. Plus, chicken hearts are really affordable in South Africa – find them in the frozen section of your local supermarket. 

Squeeze fresh lemons over before serving.


Serves: 6 servings (starter)

Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 6-12 hours soaking time and 2- 4 hours marinade time)

Total time: 30 minutes

Tools: stainless steel skewers; sharp kitchen scissors

The tools for the job!


Chicken hearts | 300 g

Milk | 500 ml

Salt | 2 tsp

Black pepper | 1 tsp

Adobo spice mix | 1 Tbs (see recipe)

Garlic | 2 cloves

Olive oil | 3 Tbs

Lemon to serve

Optional: add chili flakes at step 4 to spice it up

Chicken hearts on skewers ready to be cooked.


  1. Defrost the chicken hearts and then cover with milk. Cover and leave in the fridge to soak for 6-12 hours. The longer you soak them the less chewy they will be.
  2. Drain and rinse the hearts well with water. 
  3. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut away the excess fat and arteries from the top of each heart. 
  4. Crush the garlic over the hearts and add olive oil, salt, pepper and Adobo spice mix. Mix well and leave to marinade at room temperature for at least 2 hours. 
Chicken hearts marinating in olive oil and herb mix.


  1. Thread chicken hearts onto metal skewers, piercing them through the side, and cook over hot coals turning frequently, until browned, about 30 minutes. You can use small skewer for individual servings.
  2. Squeeze over fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.
Chicken Hearts ready to be enjoyed!

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