Sweet & Smokey Chicken Basil Sausages


Have you ever tried making your own sausages? It’s actually pretty simple, and considering how much crap (literally) is in most store bought sausages, not to mention that most brands contain upwards of 50% fat, it’s nice to have a healthy alternative!  I’ve been dreaming about Jules Clancy’s “Magic Sausage Supper” ever since I saw it over on The Stone Soup’s food blog — if you have never visited this blog before, I highly recommend it – so many goodies! When I first saw this recipe, Cam and I were in the middle of a detox…and no, meat was not on the “allowed foods” list, which is probably why I was drooling over recipes like this! I finally got around to trying her recipe the other day (OMG – so good!). The only real thing I did different, was I decided to make my own sausages instead of using store bought ones, and since they turned out so yummy, I thought I should probably share my recipe with you! These are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy free, egg free, paleo approved and oh, so tasty!

No fancy meat grinders or sausage makers are necessary for this recipe. However, here’s what you will need:

  • saran wrap
  • a food processor or blender (although this recipe can be made without, it will just involve a bit more mincing time if you’re going to do this part by hand!)

chickensausages4These were so good, I didn’t have the patience for a proper ‘photo-shoot’ — sorry!

Sweet & Smokey Chicken Basil Sausages

Dietary Info: GF/DF/SF/PA (*see notes at end of post for dietary codes)

Makes 5 sausages

Ingredients:

  • 1lb (450g) skinless organic chicken thighs or breast *see notes
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed, toasted until fragrant then ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp.  natural mesquite liquid smoke flavor (optional)
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • a large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Place chopped chicken in a food processor, and blitz until ground into somewhat of a rough paste. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  2. Toast the fennel seed in a small saucepan until fragrant. Combine all dried spices and honey, and toss into the minced chicken. Mix until spices have been well combined with all the meat.
  3. When all spices have been mixed in well, sprinkle freshly chopped basil into the spiced chicken mixture, and give it several nice strong stirs so the fresh herbs are evenly mixed in. Feel free to use your hands if the spoon doesn’t seem to be doing the job. Divide mixture into 5 servings.
  4. Take a 12″ long piece of saran wrap, and lie on slightly damp counter (this helps the saran stick and keep from moving on you). With your hand, take one serving of the divided chicken, plop on the saran (somewhat close to one side) and shape into a log. Fold one side of the saran wrap over the sausage and using a chopping board, press roll back against itself eliminating air bubbles against the plastic wrap. Once you’ve rolled all the way to the end of your saran wrap, begin twisting the ends towards each other, squishing the sausage mince into an even firmer roll so it’s about 7 inches long and 1 inches in diameter. Twist both ends until tight and tuck under (see photos below).Repeat until all 5 sausages are rolled.
  5. Place in sausage rolls in refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking – or if you’re in a hurry, stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This not only lets the spices soak into the chicken and adds more flavor, but the coconut oil also starts to solidify a little so that your sausages hold together nicely when grilling.

If you are making these in advance, you can pop these in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, and you’ll find these are even more flavorful if you refrigerate a day or so before cooking. These sausages can also be frozen for 2-3 months which is very nice to have on hand for when you’re in a hurry!

That’s it! These homemade sausages are ready to grill, BBQ, bake, poach (*see note) or cook however you desire! If you are going to use these for Jules Clancy’s “Magic Sausage Supper” recipe, I suggest grilling these stove-top just before your veg is done roasting instead of roasting with the veggies, so they don’t overcook and dry out.

*notes: I’ve found that using chicken thighs for homemade sausages give you the most succulent and juicy sausages, but if you’re looking for a lower calorie and less fat option, you can use chicken breast instead. I used chicken breast in this recipe.

Poaching method: If you wrap the chicken sausage in saran wrap with long enough ends so that you can tie them together, you can actually leave them in the saran wrap when poaching. (Just make sure to use a good quality saran wrap. Check the packaging, and if it indicates you can heat in microwave, it’ll hold up fine in boiling water).

  1. Bring a pot with about 2 1/2 quarts of water to a simmer – almost boiling, but not quite.
  2. Turn off heat (leave pan on the hot burner), and drop the rolled up chicken sausages in saran-wrap into the pot.
  3. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. If you are using chicken that has been pre-frozen and hasn’t been thoroughly defrosted, you may need to leave it in the pot for an extra 5 minutes.
  4. When you are ready to serve, cut off the tied ends of the plastic wrap, and and carefully unwrap. There will be a bit of juices inside the plastic wrap that is really yummy and full of flavor, so you might want to do this over a bowl or whatever you are serving these on so you can catch the tasty juices!

Nutrition information per serving (2 sausages): Calories 215, Fat 7g, Carb 2.5g, Protein 35g

Special Dietary Needs:

Gluten Free/Grain Free = GF
Dairy Free = DF
Sugar Free = SF
Paleo Approved = PA
Vegetarian = V
Low Carb = LC

The above codes for specific dietary requirements will be found under each recipe title.

5 thoughts on “Sweet & Smokey Chicken Basil Sausages

  1. Same here, I need to try this out. I haven’t had a sausage in a thousand years–I’ve looked all over for sausage casings, but all I could find were pork casings. And being Muslim, I couldn’t use that. Wow, but the thought never occurred to me to use saran wrap! Brilliant!

    • I know, I have issues with pork casings too – and the saran wrap does work brilliantly (obviously you don’t eat it though) :-) If you try my poaching method and cook the sausages in the wrap, it traps the flavors and produces the most moist and tasty sausages (even more so when using chicken thighs)!

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