My next door neighbor growing up was an older German lady, and she taught me and my sisters simple phrases that we could impress our friends and family with when we went over to her house. I don’t remember much, since I was young, but I do remember how her house was hung all over with heavy braided ropes of garlic and she was always cooking. And to my six year-old self, it smelled weird.
Now I’d probably be there all the time, eating authentic German meals and trying to beg any recipes out of her that I could. And I’d like to think that my nose has grown more sophisticated–what smelled weird would now smell absolutely delicious.
Anyway, this post has nothing to do with Deutschland. Just a nice memory I thought I’d share.
This morning I woke up early (which is now weirdly normal for this previously late sleeper) and thought to myself, “I would like…some sausage.” Not something I usually think upon opening my eyes at 7:00 in the morning–but with some free time and a meat grinder available, my next thought was “why not?”. So this chicken breakfast sausage came to be.
Chicken Breakfast Sausage (original recipe here)
- 1 lb ground chicken (I used one pound of chicken breast, still slightly frozen, to grind)
- 1 t ground dried sage
- 1/2 t ground dried thyme
- 1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t allspice
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4-1/2 t dried garlic (or one garlic clove, minced)
- 1/2 T maple syrup
- 2 T olive oil
First, grind the meat–if you have that option. One nice thing about grinding your own meat is that you know exactly what’s in it. You can buy ground chicken at the grocery store, but you have no idea how much skin or fat is in it. Another reason to grind meat is the price–I bought frozen chicken breasts at $1.88/lb, which costs less than buying ground chicken. Lastly, it’s not as inconvenient as you think–it’s quicker than running out to the store, and it’s best to grind meat that is cold or partially frozen, so having to defrost the meat first before you grind it is not a big deal–just go halfway!
But if all that doesn’t convince you, then it’s okay to just buy already ground meat at the store. I’ll still like you.
Grind the meat according to the instructions of your meat grinder (mine’s a KitchenAid attachment, thanks to Mom and Dad).
Put it in a small bowl and add all the spices, syrup, and oil. Mix, but don’t go too hard or your ground meat will turn into mush. Just combine everything evenly.
Depending on what you are using it for, you can form the meat into patties or just use it as is. I was making a recipe (you’ll see it later) that calls for only 1/2 lb of sausage, so I shaped the remainder into patties on wax paper, wrapped it in a big ziploc, and froze it for later.
I’m really into the freezing extra for later thing right now–it’s so exciting later in the week when you remember you have it and all you have to do is defrost. It doesn’t take any more time or effort to make extra in the first place, but it does make life so much easier when it’s time for dinner and you don’t feel like cooking.
To cook the sausage, spray a little oil into the pan first, either canola or olive oil. The sausage itself is so low-fat that you need a little extra to keep it from sticking (this is more true for the patties than for the ground sausage). For patties, cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes on either side, and try to only flip it once to prevent breaking. For the ground sausage, just cook until the pink is gone.
We were so thrilled with this recipe. Sometimes the “at-home” and healthy version doesn’t satisfy food cravings, but this really tasted just like a savory chicken breakfast sausage you’d buy at the store. Perfect for having with eggs, and I’m looking forward to grinding up a giant batch and taking it camping with us this summer.
Plus, do-it-yourself food is so satisfying! Why buy it when you can make it at home just as easily?
Here’s a little preview of what I used the sausage for:
Henry has been using the cloud cover today to do some serious bird scouting. He hasn’t left his post in over an hour, and he hasn’t become any less diligent–he does this adorable mumbly mew in the back of his throat when he gets excited a bird is coming near his window. Quite entertaining.