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[USA]"Saddle Bum's Chicken Sausage"

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:12
by Chuckwagon
"Saddle Bum`s Chicken Sausage"
Tarragon-Chicken Sausage

Smaller diameter "Snack Sticks" are not usually made of chicken for several different reasons. The poultry`s high pH and Aw conditions make an ideal breeding ground for campylobacter jejuni and other bacteria. The skin frequently contains pathogenic bacteria as well. Because chicken fat is semi-liquid at room temperature, it is quick to melt inside casings submitted to even low-temperature cooking and fat "pockets" will quickly form.

Chicken in larger sausage casings is often mixed with pork fat for stability and flavor although it should be noted that making uncooked (fresh) sausages is not recommended as fresh poultry simply does not keep well. On the other hand, chicken and poultry used in an emulsified and cooked preparation (steamed or cooked in water), is safe. Chicken "hot dogs" are popular these days and are easily made. Here is a simple recipe for tarragon chicken sausage:

4 - 1/2 lbs. lbs. meat from chicken breast
4 - 1/2 lbs. meat from chicken legs
1 lbs. chicken fat and skin
2 tspns. Cure #1
4-1/2 tspns. salt (not iodized)
1-1/2 tblspns. black pepper (freshly ground)
1-1/2 cups soy protein concentrate
2 tspns. Tarragon (dried)
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup icewater

Grind the skin and fat (nearly frozen) through the small 1/8" plate. Refreeze the mixture and run it through the grinder once again. Grind the poultry meat through a 3/8" plate. Alternately, you may wish to use a food processor to emulsify the meat, fat, and skin. Combine the mixture with the remaining ingredients and develop the primary bind. Stuff 32 mm hog casings into a "rope" or twist links in the length of your choice. Smoke the links using thin smoke inside a preheated 120° F. smokehouse, raising the temperature only a few degrees every twenty minutes for the period of 3 hours. Finish the cooking process by poaching the sausages in water heated to 175° until the internal meat temperature reaches 160°F. Immediately place the sausages in ice water for a few minutes. Be sure to keep the sausages refrigerated.

Best Wishes,

Double Dose of Chicken Sausage.

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 23:23
by two_MN_kids
This past week I made two 10# batches of Chicken Sausage. The first one was Chuckwagon`s "Saddle Bum`s Chicken Sausage". The second recipe was a Spinach and Feta Cheese Chicken Sausage. For this recipe I modified Col. Big Guys, changing out some of the seasonings and adding others.

The photo`s are of CW`s "Saddle Bum`s Chicken Sausage". Chicken breast, thighs, and legs were on sale this week for $0.99/lb., skin and bone-on. Only about 50% was chicken meat! The chicken was diced into 1" chunks; placed into the freezer for a short time. The seasoning and other ingredients were measured out and the chicken was ground, and then mixed.


For this recipe, I was working with a "newbie" and he didn`t want to mess with natural casings. So I pulled out some standby 32mm collagen casings. I measured out 30" lengths of casings, stuffed and then tied off with four 6" sausage lengths.

They hung on the drying pole for two hours.


Then into the Bradley for one hour of additional drying and two and a half hours of Oak smoke.


It only took an additional 10 minutes in the 175°F hot water to bring the sausages to a finish temperature of 172°F. I like my poultry cooked into the 170°F range.


Into the ice bath until IT reached 90°F.


Then back onto the hanging stick at room temperature for another hour.


It looks like I need some lessons with the camera as I can`t seem to get a close focus money shot. The sausages were not dry or crumbly. They had good moisture and bite; CW this one`s a keeper!


My helper received about half of the product and I packaged most the rest for later.


The Spinach and Feta Cheese Chicken Sausage I did by myself, and I just didn`t get around to pictures. I also poached these after a night`s rest, as fresh chicken sausage just isn`t that stable. I kept out about 2# and packaged the remainder.

I was left with about 18# of chicken bones and skin I couldn`t bear to toss out. I added three chopped carrots, three stalks of chopped celery, and a softball sized sweet onion, also chopped, into a large pot, covered with water and placed on the stove at medium heat for a slow cook.

Five hours later with the bones and skin removed, the broth was strained through a sieve and cooled to about 85°F. Measured out 2 cup servings from the 6 quarts of stock, and moved into freezer for later use.

Thanks for looking.


Posted: Sun May 20, 2012 14:39
Jim those are some good looking sausage. Very nice job.


Posted: Sun May 20, 2012 16:01
by ssorllih
Jim, If you have a pressure canner that strained stock needs only twenty minutes processing in pint jars and frees up a bunch of freezer space.

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 04:16
by Chuckwagon
Jim, your project is outstanding! I'm happy the texture was moist and appetizing - proof that you cooked it correctly and slowly. Your success in making this sausage just made my entire week! Thanks for the review and outstanding photos. Very nicely done. (I hope you don't mind if I move your photos and commentary into the forum with the recipe.) Keep up the good work pal. What's next on the agenda?

Best Wishes,

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:53
by Bubba
I will have to try CW's recipe soon, the sausages in the photos look good!

Interesting how many people raise their eyebrows at chicken sausage, then when they try some they wonder why they have never tried some sooner. :smile:

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 00:32
by ssorllih
When this much bone and skin is cooked for stock there is a substantial amount of meat left on the bones. It is worth picking that meat and canning it with stock as chicken soup base that will be seasoned when you serve it.
This link is the gold standard for canning food.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 02:28
by uwanna61
Nice job!

My kids go gaga over BigGuys fresh spinach / feta chicken sausages! Go figure you try to get them to eat their veggies when they are young and one day I`m thinking I will whip up a batch of BG`s chick`n feta with spinach sausage and the kids go nuts over it!

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 04:37
by two_MN_kids
Thanks Guys,

I appreciate the positive comments. Both tasted great hot off the grill!

Ross, I had the bones very well picked over before I made the stock, but I did try some of the chicken after it cooked for over five hours. It was a bit dry and flavorless. I only kept the broth and fat. I will try my hand at canning it and report back on the effort.

Wally, I'm thinking I could cut back a bit on the spinach as it made the sausage appear green. I will make this again, but maybe reduce the spinach by 20-25%. But then again, everyone who has tasted them is amazed that a chicken sausage could taste so good!

I'm already down to one lb. of "Saddle Bum Sausage" left in freezer . That one went way too quick. Wasted expense to vacuum pack them.


Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 05:05
by ssorllih
I usually stop and pick the meat from the bones after the first hour and return the bones to the stock pot. After that the bones and other junk goes to the fox that visits my back yard every night.

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 19:15
by Butterbean
That is very nice, neat and beautiful work there. I love the chicken feta cheese sausage.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 22:07
by two_MN_kids
Thanks for the positive comment, Butterbean. Sometimes it even looks like I know what I`m doing! :smile:

I ended up canning 13 pints of chicken stock. Two of them didn`t seal, :sad: so will need to be reprocessed. I also clarified over 3 cups of chicken fat. This also took about 20 minutes, and I stored it in half-pint jelly jars. Apparently it replaces butter in many recipes. I`m willing to give it a try.

Here's a big Thank You to Ross (ssorllih) who encouraged me to save freezer space by canning the chicken stock and retaining the rendered fat. This time of year there is plenty of room on pantry shelves. Not too sure where Jean will be putting jelly in a few months! :wink:

On Friday I will be poaching two 3-lb. hams and will also process that broth for later use.


Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 05:48
by Jakub
How do you think the saddlebum recipe would be with sweet basil instead of tarragon?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 06:41
by Chuckwagon
Jakub, I think it would be just fine. In fact, it sounds wonderful. Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 02:46
by Jakub
Another question for ya, I'll be using just boneless skinless chicken breast so the only fat there will be is what I'm adding as smoked pork jowel. The recipe above calls for 1lbs fat and skin for 9lbs meat. So that would be about 11% fat, I thought 20% fat was more ideal is it different for chicken?