Rise 'n Shine

My husband and I like to have sausage with breakfast on the weekend. It sets those times apart from our rushed weekday schedule and fills the house with a wonderful aroma. However, we've been less than pleased with the options facing us when we get to the grocery store. Whether it's a greasy tube of pork or a box of ready-made links, it seems like someone searching for a healthy alternative to breakfast sausage is going to have to look somewhere else.

So I did.

Anyone who has a food grinder or a really good food processor has everything he or she needs to make homemade sausage. Of course, you can also opt for purchasing ground meat from the grocery store if you don't, but you won't be able to control the results of your efforts as well.

My homemade Apple-Chicken Sausage was born out of our desire for a healthier breakfast sausage that didn't leave us with the feeling that we'd just eaten cardboard! So, after grinding some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, it was just a matter of finding some great ingredients to add that would boost flavor without boosting the fat content. Dried apples, a simple apple syrup and a nice combination of sweet and savory seasonings did the trick. The result was a pleasantly moist breakfast patty that could be enjoyed without guilt.

What's more, if you mix up a batch of this sausage, you can easily separate it into smaller packages and freeze it safely for at least 6 months. Then, when you want sausage, all you need to do is thaw a package for yourself!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Apple-Chicken Sausage

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (dark meat is important)
  • 3 ounces dried apples
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 2 Tablespoons boiling water

In a small non-reactive pan, boil down the cider almost to a syrup, about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Cool and reserve.

Grind the chicken coarsely.

Add the cider and rest of the ingredients to the ground chicken in a large bowl and blend thoroughly with your hands. Fry up a small patty to test, and correct the seasonings in the rest of the batch.

  • Yields: about 3.5 pounds sausage
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes