Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vietnamese-style Chicken Sausages

Last week, we decided to make more sausages. After all, we had casings to stuff 100 lbs. of sausage sitting untouched in the refrigerator. Inspired by a Vietnamese pork meatball recipe and by some leftover lemongrass also residing in the same refrigerator, we made chicken sausages with Vietnamese flavorings (just bear with us on that..)

This sausage made use of our two previous Daring Cooks challenges: making sausage and boning a chicken. Yes, we could simply buy boneless chicken thighs, but then we’d have no bones to make stock with. These sausages were really tasty (I know we say that about most things we blog about, but that’s because we don’t bother to blog the ‘meh’ meals that we also occasionally endure). They were very light and perfect for a warm spring or summer meal when paired with a cucumber and mint salad.

For us, it was especially fun to use our sausage-making skills to create something entirely new (to us at least). That’s the real beauty of making your own: you can get off the well-trodden Italian or Garlic sausage path. We made only a small batch. I am writing the recipe on the scale that we made it, but if you try this at home, I’d urge you to at least double it since a) it’s a lot of work for 6 sausages and b) they really were delicious.

Makes about 6 sausages, approx 1 1/2 lbs:

1 lb Chicken thigh meat, boneless (roughly 2 lbs bone-in)
1/3 lb Pork back fat
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp White pepper
2 Tbsp Thai basil, minced
1 1/2 tsp Green garlic, minced (you could use regular garlic too, but if so use less than this amount)
1 Tbsp Lemongrass, minced
1 Tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
1 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
Sausage casings

Clockwise from rear: minced lemongrass, green garlic and basil

Boned chicken thigh meat and pork back fat
  1. Grind the chicken thigh meat and pork back fat together.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Note: the lemongrass should be chopped really fine – it should look like fine couscous before you add it. Chopping it can take a while, but nobody likes woody, stringy lemongrass stuck in their throats..
  3. Fry a tablespoon of the mixture in olive oil, then taste it before stuffing your sausages. Adjust the seasoning if needed (we added more lemongrass and basil based on our tasting and the recipe above reflects that change).
  4. When you’re satisfied with the flavor, stuff the sausage meat into the casings.
  5. Cook and serve as you would any other sausage, except with the additional amount of pride that comes with making your own from scratch!

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