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Jan 30, 2008 07:45 AM

Gourmet Sausage from Scratch

Has anyone made any lean homemade sausages with chicken or turkey? I'm finally ready to use my KitchenAid sausage attachment. I picked up some collagen casings but I can find any recipes or tips online. I have two flavors I want to try first....

Buffalo Chicken Sausage - coat boneless/skinless thighs with buffalo sauce - grind and stuff with crumbled gorgonzola.

Greek Chicken Sausage - grind and stuff boneless/skinless thighs with feta and sauteed spinach.

Any suggestions or flavor ideas?

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  1. invest in Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. it is a great book and offers many great tips for making suasage and not just for curing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cdog

      that's great - thanks. I'm trying to find it on right now.

      1. re: cdog

        The chicken/ tomatoes/basil sausage is wonderful! This is a fantastic book to get started with. But (picklesandcake), keep in mind that a good sausage is going to have 25 - 30% fat, sometimes more. On the plus side, there is so much flavor that your taste buds can be happy using it as an accent. The lowest fat sausage I've seen are the meatless ones by Field Roast. They taste amazing and have about 19-20% fat. I am not a fan of fake-meat, but these really exceptional.

      2. I make a turkey breakfast sausage that's simply ground turkey, salt, pepper and garlic.
        I don't really measure but it's something like a half tsp or salt, pepper and garlic per pound..
        Try it and adjust according to your taste. I know when I make them my dad finds them too garlicky and my neighbour said it was great but could've used more garlic but that was just her.
        One tip though, since turkey is so dense, I add at least a tablespoon of water per pound. I have also used extra v as well.


        1. These sound great... but one question? Do they turn out dry?
          Anyone have any suggestions how to improve the tenderness and juiciness, while maintaining a lower fat sausage?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mellicita

            Here is a recipe that calls for crushed ice to "lighten the texture" ... sounds pretty good.

            Chicken & Apple Sausage

            2 small leeks, cleaned
            1 large Granny Smith apple
            1 medium onion, peeled
            1/4 cup parsley leaves
            2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
            1 lemon
            1 pound chicken leg meat

            Farce (Forcemeat)
            1/2 pound finely ground chicken breast
            1 teaspoon salt
            1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
            1/2 cup crushed ice
            Pastry bag fitted with No. 8 tip
            Pre-soaked sausage casings
            1/4 cup prepared mustard
            1/4 cup sour cream
            2 cups lingonberry preserves

            To make garnish, cut off most of the green portion of the leek and blanch in boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes until tender. Drain and squeeze out any excess moisture. Chop into small (1/4-inch) dice.

            Peel, core and chop apple into small (1/4-inch) dice. Cut the onion into small (1/4-inch) dice and chop the parsley.

            Heat oil in a heavy sauté pan over moderate heat. When oil is hot, add the leeks, apples, onions and parsley. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the apple/vegetable garnish to a bowl and refrigerate.

            To make farce, place the ground chicken, salt and white pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 30 seconds.

            With motor running, drop in the crushed ice and continue to process for 1 to 2 minutes or until combined. (Crushed ice, a substitute for fat which is traditionally added at this point, will lighten the texture of the sausage.) Transfer the farce to a bowl and refrigerate.

            To assemble sausage, cut the chicken leg meat into small (1/4 inch) cubes. Remove zest from lemon in strips. (You should have 1 to 2 teaspoons.) Combine chilled farce, chilled apple/vegetable garnish and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the cubed chicken meat, folding to combine.

            Tie a knot at one end of the pre-soaked casing. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a No. 8 plain tip. Pipe mixture into the casing and knot the other end.

            Using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze the sausage every 3 or 4 inches to separate the mixture. Twist at those points to make individual sausage lengths.

            Poach sausages in a pan of water (about 160 degrees F) for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove, drain and transfer to a 350 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. (Or, sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.)

            Blend mustard and sour cream until smooth. Place a dollop of mustard sauce on individual plates (or, using a squeeze bottle, pipe mustard sauce in a decorative pattern across the center of the plate.) Cut the sausages into thin, slanting slices and arrange on plate. Garnish with a spoonful of lingonberry preserves to serve.

            Yield: About 4 servings

            From: Cooking at the Academy by California Culinary Academy (KQED)

            1. re: Mellicita

              The SO and I are slowly perfecting our sausage technique, and this is the biggest issue we've had. One tip I can give is to aim for a wet mix to make a juicier sausage, even without the fat. The sausage mix when you fill the casings should be closer to a meat batter than what you'd use to make a meatloaf. (not actually liquid...but getting there) Our various recipes use a combo of wine or beer and water to get the desired consistency. I'd think that beer would go great with your buffalo chicken and maybe white wine with your greek.

              That said, you really really do need some fat in there. Oh! and keep the whole thing very very cold while stuffing and mixing if you do add fat. It's similar to making a pie crust. YOu want to keep your fat chunks from getting soft and oozing around so that when you cook it you end up with a nice light juicy sausage, rather than a heavy greasy dense lump.

            2. I love making my own sausage! It's very fun.

              I like to grind turkey breast with bacon, add wild rice, maybe even a bit of broccoli.

              I llke to grind pork with a touch of fruit, like apricot, or maybe dried cranberries.

              But your Buffalo Chicken mix sounds like a killer variation!!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: scuzzo


                turkey, bacon and wild rice sounds divine. thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

                1. re: picklesandcake

                  Of course it makes fine burgers too. Ground turkey breast is too dry. The bacon adds flavor and needed fat.

                  What about a sausage with corned beef, 'kraut, caraway seeds, and maybe a sharp swiss? Like a ruben? Make a rye bun!

              2. I found one of Paul Prudome's boudin recipe's online and made it. I don't know if it was shrimp or I adapted it. Anyway, it was excellent.