• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Chicken sausage basics? Just a few questions

22
11
Joined Feb 16, 2020
I’ve only recently gotten into sausage making, and have so far stuck to the classics, mainly pork sausages (andouille, hot Italian, bratwurst, kielbasa) and one batch of merguez (lamb). I’ve been wanting to branch out a little and gotten some requests from my family to make some chicken sausages. I haven’t been able to find a ton of info though (most of the recipes and basic sausage-making guides are for the typical pork or beef based sausages). I have a few questions I was hoping you guys can help me out with.

  • Fat content: I'm assuming you want to stick to the same 20-30% fat content? How do you achieve this? I have a recollection of reading somewhere that skin-on chicken thighs naturally have enough fat that you don't need to add any (similar to pork butt). Is this true?
    • If so do you run the skin/fat through the grinder separately or just leave it on the meat and run it all together?
    • If not, what kind of fat do you add? I assume you cant just get chicken fat from the butcher like you cand pork fat.. I know you can get "Schmaltz" (rendered chicken grease, for kosher cooking) but that is more liquid and runny, not what I'd think you'd want in a sausage
  • What size grind do you typically use for chicken sausages?
  • Are there any other process/technique differences when making chicken sausages compared to pork? for instance do you need to use much more/less water, or mix a lot more/less to get a good bind, etc etc.
  • Basically any tips/hints/suggestions about making chicken sausage that someone trying it for the first time should know
Thanks in advance guys, appreciate the help!
 

1finder

Smoke Blower
103
18
Joined Jan 8, 2012
Have only used thigh meat also, haven’t done chicken in probably 5+yrs. I’m a pork/beef sausage guy.
There is an SMF member (cougar, I believe) that I remember reading some of his posts & chicken sausage, that was detailed & informative.
Good luck & stay safe!!
 

tropics

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
13,702
5,417
Joined Jun 25, 2014

Richie
 
22
11
Joined Feb 16, 2020

Richie
Richie, thanks so much, that helps a lot. Few questions:
  • I see in one reply where you say you didn;t use all the skins from the thighs, do you remember approximately how much skin/fat you included in with the meat? Was it like skin from half of the thighs? Most of them? Only one of them? just a ballpark amount to shoot for.
  • Did you need to add any additional liquid with the ground meat to get a nice consistency and bind, or was the chicken "juicy" and wet enough on its own?
Again thanks for the link!
 

thirdeye

Smoking Fanatic
339
304
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I use boneless skinless thighs and don't trim any fat, but I'll add some ground pork butt as well. The highest ratio I've used is 50:50 mix, the lowest is about 80:20. I like the chicken coarsely ground. Choosing fresh ingredients over dry will help with moistness, so use fresh herbs, onion, garlic, peppers, parsley or cilantro.
 

tropics

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
13,702
5,417
Joined Jun 25, 2014
Richie, thanks so much, that helps a lot. Few questions:
  • I see in one reply where you say you didn;t use all the skins from the thighs, do you remember approximately how much skin/fat you included in with the meat? Was it like skin from half of the thighs? Most of them? Only one of them? just a ballpark amount to shoot for.
  • Did you need to add any additional liquid with the ground meat to get a nice consistency and bind, or was the chicken "juicy" and wet enough on its own?
Again thanks for the link!
RS I don't remember exactly as close as I do remember it was maybe 3/4 of the skins,these were very big thighs.
Post #14 has the recipe water,NFDM ,and sugar are listed for 5 pound batch
Richie
I've had some great reviews on this recipe,you can use any store bought Italian seasoning plus the Fennel to create a great tasting sausage.I normally make this for fresh sausage not smoked,I included the cure for those who want to smoke it.
Hope to see a post from you
 
22
11
Joined Feb 16, 2020
Post #14 has the recipe water,NFDM ,and sugar are listed for 5 pound batch
You know, I saw and read that exact post (with the recipe) but somehow my eyes glossed right over the part about the water. I already have a bunch of pork italian sausage in the freezer, so if I get around to doing some chicken sausage this weekend it will probably be a different "flavor" (maybe some leek and spinach and sage?) Regardless of what variety I make I'll post up some pics of the process and results, and will be sure to mention all the help you provided. Thanks again!
 

sawhorseray

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,818
1,576
Joined Oct 17, 2014
I make a chicken Italian sausage with chardonnay, dried tomato, and black olives. I buy 33 pounds of average sized thighs to make a 25 batch, just debone using the thigh meat and skin for the fat. RAY
 

crazzycajun

Smoking Fanatic
427
93
Joined Feb 17, 2007
Here’s one I’ve wanted to try it calls for chicken but the op used turkey
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,881
616
Joined Nov 16, 2016
Along for the ride. Have not made any yet but plan to soon. I've researched a bit and first run will be thighs including skin. First I need to study some deboning vids... Also, no idea what my yield will be.

tropics tropics Gonna run Richie's first but admit I want to freestyle. Leek, spinach, and sage sounds VERY MUCH like something I would do. Another one I plan to try: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/chicken-mango-jalopeno-sausage-revisited-with-recipe.107387/

I've had good results with STPP so I will stick to using it for these too.
 

sawhorseray

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,818
1,576
Joined Oct 17, 2014
I debone with a small sharp paring blade. One of the most important things is to cut the tiny pieces of cartilage out right after you've separated the fillet from the bone. Here's a video that pretty much shows how it's done. He shows the cartilage being removed at about the 1:45 minute mark. RAY

 

R Blum

Smoke Blower
149
63
Joined Dec 19, 2017
The other week I wanted to make some chicken sausage but I didn't feel like getting out the grinder so I just bought some from the store already ground. I used this recipe and it came out quite good.
5-lbs ground chicken
1 ½ -tsp black pepper
1 ½ -tsp allspice
1 ½ -tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp marjoram
1 tbp + 1/3 tsp. Salt
1 ¾ tsps. Caraway seeds
6 pieces garlic
1 tbs + ¼ tsps. Fennal

½ cup olive oil * optional
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
1,899
724
Joined Sep 29, 2018

Richie
I will vouch for this. Made it a while back and need to do again soon. Fantastic. . .
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,881
616
Joined Nov 16, 2016
I debone with a small sharp paring blade. One of the most important things is to cut the tiny pieces of cartilage out right after you've separated the fillet from the bone. Here's a video that pretty much shows how it's done. He shows the cartilage being removed at about the 1:45 minute mark. RAY
THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!! I've watched plenty of clips already and NONE show the cartilage being removed.
 

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
25,812
4,338
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Good advice above, I have never mad Chicken sausage, plenty of beef and pork,

Be sure and post pics

Gary
 

chopsaw

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
6,175
2,851
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Chicken Sausage Italian
Just made 5 lbs a week ago . This is a favorite around here , and goes fast .
I trim the loose skin and use what ever covers the meat , this last time I used 10 thighs , 7 pieces of skin .
If you're using skin , I would leave it attached . De-bone and cut into strips or chunks . I think it grinds better , and you get an even mix of fat to lean right from the grinder .
Be watching good luck .

20190712_133944.jpg 20190713_111120.jpg
 

Polka

Meat Mopper
162
73
Joined Oct 24, 2017
I prep the chicken thighs while partly frozen, and cut around the cartilage with my boning knife. Occasionally because it is mechanically cut, there are a few "floaters" near the knob--make sure to remove them because you don't want "crunchy" sausage!! I grind all at once, not separating the skin, fat, or flesh. I use it ounce for ounce in place of pork or beef. I have made some with extra brisket fat to bring up the fat content to 30%, which makes a more juicy sausage. That would be about 4.5 lb to .5 fat +/- . I often will cure and/or season in fridge for a day or three before grinding, for a better bind. I use medium to small plate. I keep my plate and grinder knife sharpened (cranky buzzard videos), and have no issue grinding chicken with skin and fat IF IT is still partly frozen. Often double grind for my personal preferences. Any sausage recipe works with chicken. Those are my tips for you, and I'm sticking to it...... Rex aka Polka
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.