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Portuguese Recipe: Pipis (Chicken Giblets)

Cooking 40 minutes Preparation 20 minutes 4 medium
Recipe type: Petisco Cuisine: Portuguese

The word giblets (pronounced with a soft “G” as in the word ginger) typically refers to the neck, heart, liver and gizzards of poultry. In the USA, these are generally packaged and included within the cavity of a chicken or turkey. Sometimes the kidneys will be in there too, but not always. Historically, the term giblets also referred to the feet, wing tips, heads, and even that floppy red thing on a rooster’s head called the cockscomb. Why? Because when immigrants came over from countries like Portugal, these were part of package – nothin went to waste. Today, you will still find these delicious morsels sold at any neighborhood butcher.

This recipe is commonplace in many tascas across Portugal, but none so typical than in Lisbon. If you’d like a guided Petiscos Tour in Lisbon, let us know! We’d love to share our secret sumptuous spots with you!


1.79 pounds of chicken hearts
1.59 pounds chicken gizzards
A few pieces of liver (about 1/2 pound)
1 onion
7 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup of olive oil
Coarse salt (to taste)
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of red wine
1 table spoon of white vinegar
Dry oregano (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Fresh parsley
3 tea spoons of Tabasco sauce (Piri-Piri to taste if available)
1 cube of chicken Knorr
Tomato paste


  1. Using a scissor or sharp knife cut the fat of the hearts off and snip the fatty piece on the tip of the heart and cut the heart across.
  2. Cut the fatty tissues off the gizzards as well and only keep the meaty parts and cut in to bite-size pieces.
  3. Cut the liver in to smaller pieces too. 
  4. If adding the chicken feet, clean the fat and access skin on them and cut off the nails. Cut the necks in two or three smaller parts.
  5. Wash everything a few times with warm water, drain and set aside.
  6. Chop the onion and garlic and put in a pot add the bay leaves and olive oil and sauté until the onion and garlic are golden but not burned.
  7. Add the chicken hearts, gizzards and liver and salt to taste and let that sauté.
  8. After a minute or two, add the white wine and a table spoon of tomato paste and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, and then add the red wine and the vinegar.
  9. Let it simmer in medium heat uncovered for another 10 minutes.
  10. Add oregano, parsley, Tabasco and Knorr cube and a half a cup of water, add lid and let cook on low to medium heat until the hearts and gizzards are tender (some of the liver pieces will dissolve and thicken the sauce); if it still needs more time to tenderize add a bit more white and red wine and cook for a few more minutes.
  11. Check the hearts and gizzards with a fork to see if their done cooking.
  12. Add the black pepper and serve with plenty of bread to sop up the thick gravy.

Note: This Petisco pairs well with red wines and beer, but the white I selected wasn’t bad either, since it wasn’t overly fragrant or fruity with a balanced acidity that didn’t clash with the strong wine flavors in the gravy. 

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