Hope everyone is enjoying Memorial Day Weekend. And to any vets reading this post, thank you very much for your service!
My weekend cooking project has been to break down a whole chicken, turn the meat and skin into sausage, use the carcass for stock, and use the liver and heart to make a chicken liver mousse. I'm making the liver mousse tomorrow maybe, and will post that in the nose-to-tail forum, but the chicken sausage and stock are now done.
This was my first run at chicken sausage, and I followed Couger78's great recipe on Chicken Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese. This is a great post, and if you haven't seen it yet, here is a link to it:
A couple of other forum members (Chef Willie and dward51) also took Couger's recipe and ran with it. Here are links to their posts:
I had a 5 lb whole chicken in the freezer. I thawed this out, removed the breasts, legs, and thighs. Deboned out the legs and thighs. I used the skin-on breasts, legs, thighs, and the fat from the tail. This came out to about 2 1/2 lbs of meat/skin.
Here is Couger's recipe scaled for 2 1/2 lbs. My husband and I have gotten used to a pretty low salt level, so I use kosher salt at 1.1% of the weight of the meat/fat whenever I make sausage.
Couger78's Chicken Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese
2 1/2 lbs chicken w/skins
1/4 cup fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh basil
13 grams kosher salt (1.1%)
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (after soaking until soft)
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
I ran the semi-frozen meat/skin once through the fine plate of the grinder.
Mixed in the garlic, basil, tomatoes, and parmesan, then ran it though the fine plate a second time.
Mixed in the salt, spices, and olive oil by hand to form a sticky paste. Stuffed the mixture into medium hog casings.
Poached them in a 175 - 180 deg F water bath for about 20 minutes to reach IT of 165 deg. Cooled them under cold running water.
The sausage turned out very tasty, and it seemed like a decent level of fat for an all-chicken sausage. The recipe is definitely something I'll make again, especially for my sister-in-law who doesn't eat red meat or pork (!) but loves chicken sausage.
While I was making the sausage, and then cleaning the grinder, stuffer, and kitchen afterwards, I made chicken stock from the carcass. Here is the carcass along with some extra chicken feet, and some onion, celery, carrots, and bay leaves.
Covered in water, brought to a boil, skimmed, lowered to a simmer. Simmered for 6 hours. It came out with a great flavor, nice and silky texture. It's going to gel up nicely when cold. Dang, but I love chicken feet.
Not a bad day's work!
This project was a really good confidence builder for working up to making braunschweiger, my next sausage project, which I guess is supposed to be poached and then cold-smoked. I'll also be following Kevin's recipe.
Thank you, Kevin, for a great recipe! And thanks everyone else, for checking out my post. Happy Sunday.