Introduction: Homemade Garlic Bacon Chicken Sausage With Zucchini
You know this is going to be a good recipe when it starts off with disarticulating a whole chicken... or 2.
What you will need.
2 whole chickens or 4 breasts and 6 thighs (with skin)
1/2 pound of bacon
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp summer savory - dry
1 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp ground garlic
1 bulb fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
Butter and Canola oil
Step 1: The Meat
I decided to use 2 whole chickens for this recipe because it seemed cost effective at the time since whole chickens were on sale. I think I actually chose whole chickens because I'm a glutton for punishment. I have lots of practice de-boning chickens but I could have saved myself a lot of time by spending just a few more bucks on chicken pieces. But since I took pictures of the process I will now share them with you.
De-boning the bird. If you have a good butcher they may do this for you.
First remove the wish bone by tracing the outline of the bone with your knife and then simply pull it out with your fingers.
Flip the bird breast side down and slice through the skin right down the middle. Peel back the skin.
Next dislocate the wings and remove them by cutting through the joints where they meet the breast. I reserve these for grilling.
Cut to loosen the breasts and then pull them away from the rib cage. Gravity is your friend - use it avoid over using the knife.
The tenderloins will remain on the keel bone. Remove the by running you finger underneath them. Remove the tendon that is attached to the tender by laying them flat and running your knife between the tendon and the meat. Use a paper towel t hold the tendon flat on the cutting board.
Next remove the leg quarters by dislocating the thigh joints. Cut around the oyster and then through the joint. Divide leg quarter by slicing through the joint between the drumstick and the thigh.
Carefully scrape the bones down to remove the meat. Remove for any cartilage. The drumstick will have several tendons that will need to be removed and discarded.
You have now deboned a chicken.
Step 2: Grind Prep
To prepare the meat for the grinder you will need to cut the chicken into 1-2 inches pieces. Make sure you also cut some skin into pieces to grind. I generally use the skin from the breast area. Adding skin helps with texture and flavor.
Place meat on a foiled baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
At this time you want to cut the half pound of bacon into 1 inch pieces as shown in the picture. Wrap these in a foil pouch and place in the freezer as well.
Now is also a good time to put your meat grinder parts in the freezer along with the bowl or pan you intend to use to catch the ground meat.
Step 3: The Seasoning
While everything is chilling out gather and mix your spices.
I used fresh thyme from my herb garden and one sage leaf to supplement the dry sage. This is my first time using fresh sage so I wasn't sure how powerful it would be so I just went with one leaf. Sage is not the dominate flavor for this sausage. Pssst... it's garlic.
Unwrapped the bulb of garlic and break down into cloves. Remove the paper from the cloves and the hard ends. You will grind these with the meat.
Step 4: The Grind
You can use an electric or hand crank meat grinder. If you do not have a meat grinder buy one. Even the cheap manual ones do a good job. Just make sure it comes with a sharp knife. You can also use a food processor and do small batches of chicken using the pulse feature so you don't create pate (pa-tay).
Alternate grinding the chicken, skin and bacon while throwing in garlic cloves so it all grinds together. I decided to double grind about a 1/4 of the ground meat to help with texture.
Remember to keep the meat as cold as possible during the grinding process. My grinder is super fast so just use a pan that was placed in the freezer. You may want to use a bowl placed in a larger bowl of ice.
I highly recommend using food service gloves while grinding. The less contact you have with the meat the better. Washing your hands frequently during the entire sausage making process also helps.
I use a Deni 3500 800 Watt meat grinder. It works great!
Step 5: Making the Sausage
Place the ground meat in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. You could also use white wine.
Add the spices and mix thoroughly with a spoon or your hands. You can also use a stand mixer. I just didn't feel like getting one more piece of equipment out and dirty.
Place sausage in a bag and let the flavors meld for a few hours or over night (in the fridge, of course).
Step 6: The Dish
By now you have figured out this recipe makes 4-5 pounds of sausage. You will only use 1 pound for this dish. What you do with the rest is up to you (they make great burgers). Since there are no nitrates or nitrites in this recipe use the sausage within 2 days or freeze.
Slice 1 Zucchini into 3/4 inch rings and then quarter each ring.
In a large frying pan heat 1 tbs of canola oil (or bacon grease) on med-hi. Brown one pound of your homemade garlic, bacon chicken sausage. After 3 minutes add the cubed zucchini. Toss and cover for 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and turn up the heat to lightly crisp the sausage and brown the zucchini. Stir often to avoid burning. Add 1 pat of butter and stir. When the butter has melted and coated everything you are ready to eat.
I should mention that this is a lite and healthy low carb meal. You can use it as a main dish or a side.