This chicken apple sausage is surprisingly simple to make and has a slightly sweet lilt that’s magnificent any time of day. Here’s how to make it and how to cook it. No meat grinder required. And did we mention it’s healthy?!
Chicken Apple Sausage
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 45 M
- Makes 12 patties
Working in batches, place the chicken in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, probably 6 to 8 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl.
Dump the bacon and butter in the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, at least 6 times and perhaps 12 times.
Add the bacon and the butter to the chicken and stir by hand until combined. Add the apples and stir again.
In a spice mill or coffee grinder, grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns together to a medium-fine grind. Add the ground spices to the chicken mixture along with the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne. Mix with your fingertips until well blended. Pinch off a small amount and heat it in a little oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasonings in the uncooked sausage mixture accordingly.
To make patties, using your hands, shape the sausage mixture into 12 to 15 patties, each about 3 inches (7 1/2 centimeters) in diameter and 1/2 inch (12 millimeters) thick. (The patties can be made up to 1 day ahead, tightly covered, and refrigerated or frozen.)
To make links, see the variation below.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches, add the patties and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the patties are golden brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes. It may be necessary to add a touch more oil with subsequent batches. Transfer the chicken apple sausage patties to paper towels to drain briefly, then serve. Originally published April 22, 2015.
How To Make Chicken Apple Sausage Links
If you prefer sausage links to sausage patties, you’ll need a meat grinder or a stand mixer with a sausage-stuffing attachment, a total of about 6 feet small pork or sheep casings (available from most butchers and Whole Foods Markets), and the instructions that follow.
1. Place the sausage mixture in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the casings in a large container of warm water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the casings. Working over the sink, gently run warm water through each casing segment, pinching both ends and lifting up the water-filled casing. Cut out any sections of casings that leak.
3. Slip the end of a casing onto the meat grinder (or sausage-stuffing attachment), leaving about 6 inches of overhang. Grab the mixture from the freezer and tightly pack the chilled mixture into the canister.
4. Start cranking the meat grinder handle very slowly (or turn the stand mixer on low speed) until the meat begins to collect in the casing. Tie the far end of the casing in a knot. Continue cranking (or increase the speed of the meat grinder or stand mixer to medium-low) and pass more mixture through the tube, holding the filled casing loosely in one hand to regulate how tightly it’s packed.
5. When the casing is stuffed to your liking, even out the width of the sausage and then remove the casing from the grinder (or attachment) and measure about 6 inches unfilled casing and then tie a knot in that end. Twist the stuffed casing to create links that are even in size. (The extra casing before the knot is to compensate for the amount of casing used in twisting.) Prick the links with a needle (or pin or skewer) all over to allow steam to escape while cooking.
6. If not using right away, arrange the links on a wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight to allow the casings to dry, which creates crisper casings when the sausages are cooked.
7. Transfer the links to resealable plastic bags and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This amazing recipe will be added to my breakfast/lunch/dinner rotation. It's as good as can be. It far surpasses any store-bought chicken apple sausage and is very simple to make. I make many types of sausage and always use a meat grinder. I nearly feel foolish now that this recipe simply instructed us to use a food processor. I challenge anyone to detect the difference. I used half boneless, skinless thighs and half boneless, skinless breasts. I found the amount of spice to be perfect.
This recipe made 1 dozen man-sized patties, which of course means...I will need more! I used about 3 tablespoons oil and cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side. I would also like to mention that I wrapped the patties separately in plastic wrap and then put them in baggies. In a moment of sheer laziness, I also put them on a plate, covered them with a paper towel, and microwaved them on high for 2 minutes and 10 seconds. To my delight and surprise, they were delicious. And if you're thinking they might've been rubbery...they weren't! I've had these with pasta and on biscuits. These are so good that I find myself just eating them on their own, straight from the skillet or microwave.
I have 2 minor tips that will make this much easier:
First, cube the meat before freezing in a one-gallon resealable plastic bag. Flatten the cubes into a single layer and it will freeze faster and come apart more readily when it's time to add it to the processor.
And I simply peeled the apples then grated them on a box grater. You really do not need to core or even slice the apples just, peel and grate, turning the apples as you go. One last hint, DON'T FORGET TO SQUEEZE THE JUICE FROM THE GRATED APPLES. Simply put the apples in a couple of paper towels and wring them. You will be surprised how much juice there is!
Why buy chicken apple sausage when it’s so easy to make your own? This recipe has 3 things going for it:
1. No special equipment needed. Grinding the chicken and bacon in the food processor makes this recipe accessible.
2. I can control the sodium. We watch how much sodium we eat and tend to skip sausage because it’s just too salty. This chicken apple sausage is super flavorful but not super salty.
3. It tastes naughty. Chicken sausage tends to be dry and icky. Not this chicken apple sausage. That little bit of bacon and butter add richness and flavor to plain old chicken breast. If I couldn’t see what I was eating, I would never guess this sausage was made with only chicken breasts.
A few things to make this recipe go a bit faster: I grated the apple in the food processor, and then swapped the grating disc for the metal blade to grind the chicken. I cut the partially frozen chicken breast and bacon into large chunks and processed them in batches with diced cold butter, so all I had to do was combine it with the spices. The less mixing I had to do, the better.
I cooked the patties on my nonstick griddle set to 400°F and they cooked without any oil in about 10 minutes, flipping once. Perfect for breakfast.