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…
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!
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.
@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.