Chicken sausages. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Homemade chicken sausages. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Today my Friday cocktail will be a daiquiri here in Palm Beach. Or you could instead sit down with a Lagunitas IPA and a few homemade chicken sausages; this recipe originally appears in Charcuterie.


Chicken Sausage with Basil and Tomatoes

  • 3 1⁄2 pounds/1.5 kilograms boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds/675 grams pork back fat, cubed, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons/40 grams kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons/9 grams minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons/24 grams tightly packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1⁄2 cup/100 grams fresh diced roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup/60 grams diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters red wine vinegar, chilled
  • 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters dry red wine, chilled
  • 10 feet/3 meters hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30 minutes and rinsed
  1. Combine the meat, fat, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and tomatoes and toss together until evenly mixed. Chill until ready to grind.
  2. Grind the mixture through the small die into a bowl set in ice.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a standing mixer (or a sturdy spoon), mix on low speed (or stir) for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, oil, and wine, increase the speed to medium, and mix for 1 more minute, or until the liquid is incorporated and the sausage has a uniform, sticky appearance.
  4. Fry a bite-sized portion of the sausage, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and twist into 6-inch/15-centimeter links. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.
  6. Cook the sausage to an internal temperature of 160°F/71°C.Yield: About 5 pounds/2.25 kilograms sausage; about twenty 6-inch/15-centimeter links.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


14 Wonderful responses to “Chicken Sausage”

  • Mark A. Bauman

    Michael- Any suggestions as to making the recipe without using pork fat? Can you substitute schmaltz or un-rendered chicken fat?

    • Emilia

      To make this without pork, omit the pork fat but retain as much chicken fat on the thighs as possible. You can also use cold butter.

    • ruhlman

      yes, you can use any fat, butter or schmaltz; in the book of schmaltz i have a recipe that uses schmaltz.

  • david frank

    I would have thought you would have schmaltz in the recipe instead of pork fat… 🙂

  • Tags

    The only thing missing is a tofu-skin casing. Then again, you still have a couple more days until April Fools.

  • Justin Watt

    +1 on the Lagunitas IPA. If you ever find yourself in Petaluma, CA, it’s worth stopping by their brewery, located in an unassuming strip mall. Then of course since you’re in the neighborhood, head up to the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for some Pliny the Elder (which you can very occasionally find at Whole Foods, at least out here in California).

    Reminds me of a good food story I blogged about from years ago involving Lagunitas, as on my way from NC to CA: A Day in Santa Fe.

  • Chris

    I was in Novato over the weekend, about 20 miles from Petaluma where Lagunitas is made and had the IPA on tap. Very good. Better than the bottle.