I figured since I always recommend chickens to learn smoking, frying, baking, braising, etc etc.... I would start with chicken sausage to get my hands dirty. I have done boudin before and have done some smoked country sausage too. Boudin was first then I bought a press before attempting sausage. Wish I knew were that went! Anyway, went with Kevin's recipe. Oh, one other thing I will add, I have never eaten any chicken sausage before. LOL So no preconceived expectations. Here's Kevin's recipe: 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 Here's the chicken thighs which were on sale I boned them and left the skin and any fat on, then into the freezer for a 3 hour tour. The weather started getting rough the tiny ship... oh wait, nevermind..... Three hours BTW was perfect, they were not frozen but dang close. Ingredients amassed and ready. I wanted to make sure everything was done head, even the easy stuff so I could things as cold as long as possible. Now here's my idea for the second 1/2 of the chicken meat. I am sure I am about to show my backside here, but I never saw a dried tomato before, smoked I saw once, never dried. So I tried myself. Decided to do something different though, its an almost sweet sausage. Foamhearts Sausage 2 1/2 C Chicken w/skins 1T Minced garlic 1T Sage Chiffanade (I know some good words) 2T Italian Flat Leaf (That word above again) 1/2C Green onion tops chopped 1/4 C red pepper Minced 1/4 cup dried Apples minced and re-hydrated in apple juice Salt & Red Pepper 1T Maple Syrup, grade B Dash Of Tony's 2T Olive oil We are on a roll now!! I mixed all the sausages up loaded 'em in bags back in the fridge over night for the flavors to meld. But before that I sneaked some patties to try, I mean any excuse to have a good breakfast for supper shouldn't be missed, right? Eggs, biscuits, sausage, grits...... OMW. The next day I learned, two days means twice as many clean ups....LOL BTW did I mention I was grinding and stuffing with ACME #333 home and commercial grinder and sausage maker. Here's a look at that baby all torn down in its glory! Thanks to a friend I learned of that little piece in the middle, the only piece that wasn't Mom and Pops and Mom's Mom's before them. Did I mention Pop loaned out my sausage press and doesn't know to whom? Someone I am sure about this time yearly makes the statement at some camp, "yeah, this is Mr. Ned's stuffer, I gotta return it someday". After untangling, cleaning, flushing, and inspecting for holes, I loaded a 500 yard intestine on the stuffing nozzle. LOL... was only 100 ft. that the butcher gave me a bag of her's since I seem to have lost mine during the last refridge swap-out. So there it is. I didn't think the mixing or cooling down was anything new for anyone. It was indeed great practice, lessons learned: 1. Too much Garlic for my taste and I love good garlic. Did you know that a little maple syrup will reduce the garlic taste? And without adding too much sweetness. 2. There should be a national code and standardization on hog casings, with schools on learning the proper way to untangle. Its easier to untangle a birds nest on a casting rod! 3. Manual sausage operations require patience or two more hands, or both. 4. Last but not the least, below is the most important part of the sausage making art. Besides the cleaning and gathering, I enjoyed it. Its not like smoking but had it needed smoking afterward it woulod have been much more fun I am sure. I do have a finial question. Why the poach if you are going to freeze 'em? You'll have to cook 'em to eat them will you not? Mine are in the fridge, I can still poach if needed. Thanks for looking in. I learned alot, I am sure you got a smile anyway from my exploits. I am thinking a stuffer will be in the near future. I am also thinking Andouille would be fun to try.