Thanksgiving Chicken Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by foamheart, May 24, 2014.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Before I start I would like to preface with the fact that until I came to this website I had not only never tasted chicken sausage but never even heard of it. I have asked in conversations and the folks round here are waiting for my results cause neither have they.

    My very first ever sausage I made with the below grinder/stuffer and the chicken sausage came out beautifully. I kept going in and out of the freezer religiously with it while making it, but when I finished stuffing, cooking and took pictures...... Well I then threw it out. I didn't trust it and I found if their is doubt, best to throw it out and chalk it up to experience.

    Ok enough of that, day before yesterday I grabbed 4.5 lbs bag of boned chicken thighs from the freezer. I also pulled out my casing bucket and selected 2 left over casings from previous sausages. I washed noted how big they are the second time around, straightened and check for blow outs. Put 'em back in the reefer in a nice clean bowl of water.

    I decided to try something a bit different, well different to those here I asked anyway, not different to me cause I never had any before. I did this because I have found with new things here, if I can bring it back to something my taste buds recognize they seem to like it better, (Never had a sun dried tomato either). Here is my sausage mix that I made up and used.

    Thanksgiving Chicken sausage

    1 t Cure #1

    1 t salt

    ½ t black pepper

    ¼ t Cayenne pepper

    ½ t herbes de provence (Sage, Rosemary, Thyme)

    ½ t sage ( its definitely needed more!)

    ½ C Chopped Smoked Spiced Pecans

    1/3 C Homemade chunky cranberry sauce

    4 ½ lbs. Chicken Thighs

    Here we go with the mix after the grind last night.

    Here it is tonight after deciding to add my jellied chunky cranberry sauce,

    Casings, I for some reason never have problems. I might have had 2 blowouts in 100 lbs . Well tonight the first recapped casing blew 8 times before I could even finish. I removed it and cut out the sausage. I had two loaded so I stepped up, returned the salvaged sausage to the press and started right in with next one just like I was a pro.

    That is the blown up casing and the sausage overage that didn't fit in the second casing. That's Ok, I wanted to taste it anyway.

    Sausage, you can't see it but its really pretty with the cranberry reds in it.

    Moving right along...... Into a cooker. I know, I know, I seriously hate cooked sausage too but its chicken and if you ever raise chickens you'll understand. Yes I have and hogs and cows too.

     Ok, this is something totally new to me. I never had a sausage that every piece spit and squirted oil at me, yes it rendered and those sausages was messy! They didn't actually split but each sausage over pressured. 20 mins in the bath pulled at 165, BAM into an ice bath. I knew they were cold by the way they shriveled up. I am not going there, nope nope nope.

    After they cooled down.

    You can see the cranberries lost that pretty red color. The only think I can see that the smoked pecans brought to the party is a very light smoky taste. Not even a crunch. From what I tasted, (AND I know better than to pass judgment on any cured item the first day), I would rather have the thighs in a gumbo, BBQ'd, smoked, fried, spaghetti, even a casserole.

    Now I have some with no idea what to do with them, I assume you boil 'em then throw 'em on the grill?

    They were easy, they were pretty, they do make you think of Thanksgiving except a totally wrong texture. The nuts brought a smell but nothing else. I can't imagine using these in a gumbo or jambalaya....LOL

    But I tried it. Its not bad, but its nothing to write home about.

    Hope ya all have a great Memorial Day. Yes, I have my flag out.

    Thanks for checking it out.

    Any questions just ask or suggestions I am always open.
  2. Hello my friend.  I am like you, until becoming a member I had never heard of chicken sausage.  Just seems to me it would need some sort of a "WOW" factor added.  Don't know what that might be but maybe someone will come along and educate us both.  At least you gave 'er a whirl.  Keep Smokin!

  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You've got my admiration for trying! Interesting about the nuts. I was thinking more about the flavor they might add than the texture or lack of crunch. Do you think chicken fat renders at a lower temp?
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You never know what you'll find until you try. It might be the next big grocery store item....LOL It was different. Like I said, it was easy so no waste of time.

    Thanks for checking Danny.
    Maybe its an acquired taste. If I were to ever do it again I believe I would add a little wine next time to add some complexity to it.

    The nuts disappeared. But like I said they did perfume it slightly with that smoke aroma they had developed when I smoked them. It could be I chopped 'en too fine also.

    I left the chicken fat and skins in the grind thinking they would be the fat. LOL.... it was funny when that first sausage squirted a huge amount of that beautiful yellow chicken fat like from a matzo ball soup. I had the pot of water at 190. I didn't want to boil. I definitely think chicken fat renders lower than pork.  Maybe that's why the sausage gurus here add powdered milk, to absorb it and hold it in check?

    Its all a learning experience to me. With the memorial day meat sales, I am having more boiled crawfish. 4.00/lb for brisket? 2.50/lb for butts! A whole chicken is nearly 10.00 and that includes all the fat and giblets, I mean who still eats a neck? We need to start having 3 days a week as meatless days and  show the groceries we ain't gonna stand for it! 

    Sorry Rant off.
  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    More than likely if you throw them in some gumbo they will totally lose their flavor and become bland... Try pan frying some up for breakfast to go along with some eggs
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Kevin..... I was thinking of trying some chicken sausage ONE MORE TIME.... I haven't figured out how to add enough stuff to get any flavor in it... It just turns out bland...
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looking at your dry spices the ammounts you used looks like it should be per lb not for 4.5 lbs
  8. stanjk

    stanjk Smoke Blower

    Have to agree with boykjo on the spices. Adding 1/2 lb. of pork fat wouldn't hurt either. 
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It was an experiment, its cost like 5.00 to try. I believe I'll just be sticking to pork and game in the future. It really does smell like Thanksgiving. It even tastes like turkey but the texture is all wrong. I think someday when I am all bored again I might try it when I have full freezer needing cleaning out ...... maybe. Probably not.

    Its probably me because where I have lived and traveled there just has not been any chicken sausage so I have not had any to judge this by. But I know I like pork. LOL
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  10. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nicely done Kev.  Looks pretty darn tasty. 

  11. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ya give it a heck of a go Foam ! Nice job bud ! Who knows how stuff will turn out til we give er a go huh ?? :biggrin:
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Boykjo, They most definitely have that Thanksgiving taste and aroma. They do burn easily in the skillet from all the sugar in the cranberry sauce. Maybe give 'em a try on the pit for labor day.  I love chicken. Just not impressed with chicken sausage.
    Dave, don't let me influence you into the attempt. Mine had the flavor profile I was looking for, except the chicken taste wasn't there. And again I will say I believe it might well be a texture issue with me. 
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    <Chuckles> What can I say? Sometimes ya just gotta take one on the chin.
    If you don't experiment how do ya know, right? Think about how brave the first guy to slurp down a oyster was! Either that or he was on deaths door from starvation! LOL.... now that guy had some backbone!
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Guys believe me if anything it was too much. LOL..... I swear the sausage was in the reefer and when I would open the door to get something out, I could smell it thru the Ziploc. I would look to the counter expecting to see a pumpkin pie....LOL

    I am sure its just me, I just don't care for the chicken texture or the lack of chicken taste in the sausage. It was a lesson learned. Since I se so many recipes here I naturally assumed it was just something I had somehow missed in my travels. Obviously other folks like it. It must just be me.

    I can live with that. Just its strange as much as I enjoy chicken not to like the sausage.
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cool experiment, Kevin. It looks good but I will take your word on the result. I have had good chicken sausage from an old guy who used to live around here. He said the secret was to use a lot of skin in the sausage. I tried it and wasn't impressed.

    I look to you to solve the problem.

  16. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would try emulsifying the chicken in a food processor next time for better texture.. Just a thought
  17. They look good Foam! It's a shame you don't like how they turned out. If all you're missing or what you want to make it better for you is more chicken flavor I worked out a recipe for chicken sausage for my grandparents that has a good chicken taste & isn't dry. I even like it lol. If you ever want to try it let me know... As to those sausages maybe you could make some chicken sausage fajitas or something to get rid of some  [​IMG]
  18. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Nice experiment Foamheart..I've also struggled with the mysterious chicken sausage. I found a recipe on another forum that sounded good...and with some trial and error ended up with a chicken sausage my family and I actually like. Store this one away for next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and feel like making chicken sausages.....

    Big Guy's Chicken, Mango and Jalepeno

    5lbs Skinless/boneless Chicken thighs
    130g Dried Mango
    50g Red Capsicum (Approx 1/2 a Bell Pepper)
    50g Yellow Capsicum (Approx 1/2 Bell Pepper)
    150g Jalapeno's (Approx 5 peppers)
    10g Minced/Dried Onion Flakes
    3 Large Cloves Garlic
    10g Fresh Ginger Root
    30g Kosher Salt
    15g finely crushed black pepper
    1/2cup Fresh Cilantro
    35g Milk Powder
    150ml White Wine
    Hog Casings

    Grind meat and vegetables/herbs through medium plate. Combine other spices and bind. Stuff into hog casings and bloom overnight.

    The Jalepeno doesn't translate a lot of heat. If you like it hotter try a serrano or habenaro.

    As always cook over low heat till done.
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks big guy......BTW I like that outside kitchen but I was thinking a Smoker next to the hot tub, you could build a huge "Tub" of smoked gumbo (I wonder if its good for your skin?). There may just be a reason that I had not heard of nor tried  chicken sausage before.
    Boykjo Its just probably me. Upon reflection I have made mild pork sausages and I seldom like them either. Another day I am sure I'll get that itch again.
    Nice looking recipe, I have saved it and I really appreciate you sharing.
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll find something, the Rottweiler next door hasn't gotten anything lately....LOL

    I would be happy to try your grandparents recipe. They had all that chicken oil/fat in the casing, but I had thought maybe if and when I do this again, I'd add some reduced homemade chicken stock. I don't know how yet, but they need more chicken flavor. 

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