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How is store bought chicken sausage so lean, yet juicy?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, the downside to my cooking and smoking addiction is that many of the standards: ribs, butts, briskets, pork sausage, etc. are not the healthiest. Im always watching what I eat, especially during the week as I was once 340 pounds and changed my whole life style in order to lose 120 pounds. Now that I have the sausage making bug, here is my question. Every sausage recipe out there, including chicken or turkey sausage recommends 20-30% fat in the grind which is high relative to the meats I eat during the week. Usually the skin is added to achieve this. For years I have been eating store bought chicken and turkey sausage as part of my healthy diet and it is less juicy as compared to its pork counterpart but by no means is it dry. These store bought links contain anywhere from 2 -10 grams of fat per 4oz. serving and the majority of them when cooked right are damn good. So my question is how? Can I get away with grinding straight thigh or leg meat without adding the skin or additional fat? I would love to keep each link to about 6-10 grams of fat. Anyone have experience with healthier sausage recipes or known how the commercial stuff pulls off that much juiciness with such little fat?

Thanks!
-Chris
post #2 of 10
Yes you can use straight thigh meat in your chicken sausages. There are certain fillers you can use to help keep the moisture in. Poaching them instead of smoking them will help also.
post #3 of 10
I too will be doing quite a bit of chicken sausage as my wife won't eat pork. So I hope some others chime in with their experiences
post #4 of 10
I am watching as I am a newb to sausage making.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really would like to make primarily italian sausages or maybe chicken chorizo so I get the flavors I crave during the week without all the fat and calories. What kind of fillers do you think they use? Vegetables, liquids? Or something artificial? Most of the store bought italian sausage I eat uses all natural ingredients and is raw, not poached. As cheap as thighs are, maybe I will just give it a whirl and use the ingredients from a highly rated recipe. Maybe cheese and parsley Italian sausage. The pork version of those has always been my favorite from the local Italian markets.
post #6 of 10

I know some commercial chicken sausages list soy protein concentrate as an ingredient,maybe the SPC would do the trick. I have added it to lean pork sausage with good results .

post #7 of 10
Powdered milk is added to sausages as a filler to retain moisture also. When I have made chicken sausage for filling peppers, or meatloaf I've had good luck using quinoa. I plan on experimenting with that. I don't plan on smoking the chicken sausages as my wife isn't big on the smoke. So these will primarily be used fresh and either grilled or water bath poached and then grilled.
post #8 of 10

I'm no expert , but I do my research . When you see ground chicken or turkey in store , unless it says " 100 % white meat " ( breast meat ) the fat content can be higher than a lean ground beef . 

 

Keeping a long story short ,

 

I saved  all my chicken trim , white meat plus some fat . 

Peeled skin off some thighs and saved it . 

Used boneless  chicken breast . 

 

 

I have a pork recipe for Italian  sausage , that came out " ok " 

Used the recipe with all white meat chicken , some skin , went heavy on the spice , but backed off the salt .

I did not use any powder binders , but did add a good Olive oil . 

 

It was so good , the texture , taste , color ,,, I got lucky I guess . 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopsaw View Post

I'm no expert , but I do my research . When you see ground chicken or turkey in store , unless it says " 100 % white meat " ( breast meat ) the fat content can be higher than a lean ground beef . 

Keeping a long story short ,

I saved  all my chicken trim , white meat plus some fat . 
Peeled skin off some thighs and saved it . 
Used boneless  chicken breast . 


I have a pork recipe for Italian  sausage , that came out " ok " 
Used the recipe with all white meat chicken , some skin , went heavy on the spice , but backed off the salt .
I did not use any powder binders , but did add a good Olive oil . 

It was so good , the texture , taste , color ,,, I got lucky I guess . 

I definitely agree that some brands advertise themselves as healthy yet when you look at the nutrition they have just as much fat as their pork counterparts. The ones I am mentioning have low fat contents listed. I am hesitant to add olive oil because then the fat content will probably get close to that 20-30% anyway.
post #10 of 10

Many of the UK sausages contain ground up rusk (A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread.) to help improve moisture, soften the texture and to reduce cost. They also add a good bit of water/liquid to the mix.   I would prefer something like that to chemical additives.

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