The idea of chicken sausages seemed like an abomination. Tasteless, dry, and unnecessary. But Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s chicken sausage recipe from Charcuterie converted me. Using all thigh meat and adding enough lard to the poultry mixture is the secret to keeping chicken sausages pleasantly moist and snappy.
Now I’m creating my own sausage recipes. Two friends gave me a very thoughtful birthday present— a combination meat grinder and stuffer. It was a fitting gift after making sausages with a funnel and surviving. My first creative sausage venture, inspired by Hatch chile season, was a success.
Hatch Chile Chicken Sausage adapted from Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn’s Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage in Charcuterie
- 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup chopped, roasted Hatch chiles
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 10 feet hog casings
1. Combine the meat, fat, salt, pepper, garlic, cilantro, chiles and mix together. Refrigerate until ready to grind.
2. Using the grinder, thoroughly grind the mixture into a bowl.
3. With a sturdy wooden spoon, mix the ground meat until it is uniform in appearance. Add the tequila and oil and mix until it is distributed evenly.
4. Stuff the sausage into the casings and twist into about 8-inch links. Refrigerate or freeze.
You can bake or sautée these sausages, but they’re best grilled. Grill them slowly over indirect heat because hot flames can make natural casings burst. You can also poke holes in the sausages to relieve some of the pressure, but you risk losing some flavor when the drippings fall through the grate.
Anyone can use this recipe as an outline for creating unique sausages. Favorite dishes from restaurants or cooked at home are always good inspiration for experimentation. What do you think would be some good flavor combinations for chicken sausages?