Chicken sausage

  • Have any of you made any chicken sausage? I am curious to know what you do to make up for the leanness of the meat. What I am considering is grinding all of the meat from the chicken with the skin and seeing how that works. Have any of you done this?

  • I have not made chicken sausage. Wonder if you grind the dark and white to get the correct fat content?!? I don’t know about grinding the skin…maybe that is the way to go? idk. I just looked in my go-to sausage book. not many chicken recipes…but there was one for turkey sausage. It used 7.5 lbs turkey, 2.5 lbs pork trimmings.

    If you are using whole birds, get some in the 5 plus pounds range…they may have enough fat on them to use. Broilers are great for growing your own. Easy to get from a Farm Store in the Spring or a 4-Her. Only take 6-8 weeks to grow and get nice and fat. We usually grow them until 6-8 lbs…and they are usually loaded with fat. Or check with your local butcher…sometimes they will give you the fat off animals for free. Can you mix turkey fat with chicken, idk…

    Good luck. Maybe Austin has a solution…


  • Admin

    @Clay @mcherbies

    Chicken sausage is fun to make, and we’ve done quite a bit of it here in our test kitchen. You can definitely add the skin to help increase the fat content, and adding pork fat is always an option as well if you don’t want a 100% chicken sausage. Thigh meat is fattier than white meat, so that helps as well either doing all dark meat, or part of both.

    We’ve done chicken sausage as 100% chicken breasts, thus probably 95-99% lean, and used chicken thigh meat to make 88-92% lean.

    Probably the best version we’ve made here was with 100% thigh meat.

    Adding water and a meat binder like Sure Gel will help with a lean sausage like chicken. It’s hard to exactly say how much to use though, and how much water to add. Chicken will purge a lot during thawing, and even chicken that is already “water added” or pumped may slightly vary depending on how well the already added water bound to the meat already. We’ve typically varied the amount of added water and Sure Gel each time. Adding some will be good, but if you do too much, it will make the meat really soupy since chicken doesn’t have the same structure to it like pork or beef. It will also really help in making chicken sausage if you keep the meat extra cold to give it a little extra structure and not get too warm and start getting soupy.

    Let me know if I can help with anything further!

  • @Austin @mcherbies
    Thanks to both of you for getting back to me. At this stage I’m just trying to get as much information as possible from experienced sausage makers. Once my new grinder from Walton’s comes in I’m going to be doing a lot of experimenting myself.
    It makes sense that making sausage using strictly thighs would create the best tasting end product.
    I didn’t really think about the water added to store bought chicken playing into the binding properties of the mixture. That would definately be a guessing game when adding Sure Gel. Having the ability to grow or at least have access to fresh broilers would probobly bring some consistency to the mix.

  • Regular Contributors

    @Clay Like Austin, I have good luck using thigh meat for chicken sausage. Their Mango Habanero seasoning pairs very well with chicken for brats, but it does have some heat.

  • Walton's Employee

    I finally have the Chicken Thigh Brat video done and posted to youtube you can view it here I have to say it made a big difference and the South of the Border Cheddarwurst was a great choice, these were probably the best Chicken Brats I have made!

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  • M

    In the past while making summer sausage I have used ground beef 80/20 about 8 pounds and about 4 pounds mixed together… what mixture do you use for summer sausage

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  • @KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!

    The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.

    For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.

    Anyone else have thoughts?

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