Homemade Chicken Sausage with Sage and Apple

I love breakfast sausage. I would eat it every day if I could.  Well, I suppose I could but that would be a LOT of pork!  I like chicken sausage but the recipes I have tried for it are very dry and I really do not enjoy them as a result.  I bought some ground chicken and literally dreamed that night of a way to make a moist sausage. How convenient!

The raw ingredients…except for almond flour, which I added later on. Nothing but good stuff here.

My theory was that if I added apple sauce instead of egg there would be not just the taste of apple but also moisture instead of dryness. And I wanted to add some veggies so I added grated zucchini, grated onion (both moisture ingredients also) and grated carrot.  I also felt like FRESH sage was important. Have you ever noticed that SAGE is included in the word sauSAGE? Beyond that I included crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, sea salt, fennel and thyme.

Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix

I literally did just dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mixed it up with my hands. I even remembered to take my wedding ring off first!  After I mixed it up I realized that it was even more moist than I had expected. I added in a tablespoon of almond flour to take up some of that moisture. Coconut flout absorbs moisture and I did consider that (and will probably test that out) but almond flour seemed like a better choice for texture. 

 

Adding almond flour to adjust the texture

 

After combining the ingredients I covered the bowl and put it in the fridge for about half an hour. Again, this was to try to firm them up a bit. I wanted to EAT moist sausage patties but cooking wet patties was not my original idea.

I formed the patties with an ice cream scoop to keep them roughly the same size and dropped them right into a hot cast iron skillet. I added avocado oil to the skillet first because chicken is not a meat that was going to release much, if any, of its own fat and I did not want them to stick.

I cooked the patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.  They browned up pretty dark because of the almond flour but that was okay by me!

We had these for breakfast with a piece of my Peach Blueberry Paleo Dutch Baby pancake and coffee and we thought it was really good!  I think more crushed red pepper would be appropriate next time so I am giving you a range in the recipe!  Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Apple Sausage

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/4 cup grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out

1/2 onion, grated, liquid squeezed out

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp fresh minced sage

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/8 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes depending on how much heat you like

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp crushed fennel seed

1 pound ground chicken

1 Tbl ground almond flour

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mixing with your hands works well.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Heat a skillet coated with your cooking oil of choice (avocado oil, olive oil, ghee, bacon fat etc.). Drop spoonfuls of the sausage mixture directly into the hot pan. Cook 3 – 4 minutes per side until cooked all the way through.  Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and keep warm until serving.  Makes 14 – 16 patties.

We have been living through a kitchen remodel.  We are not complaining about the overall remodel…we feel super fortunate to be able to do it, despite the home equity loan, and will love having a kitchen that is perfect for us once we are done. But for people who are used to cooking from scratch at least twice a day, and frequently 3 times, plus baking treats and desserts, not having a kitchen has been trying.

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Morning of demolition

The primary reason why we undertook the remodel of the kitchen is that Martha has undergone a number of spine surgeries and is now living with a need for physical accommodation and accessibility in order to be able to work alone in the kitchen. She cannot bend, cannot reach up high and cannot lift more than a few pounds. This means she can no longer reach low cabinets, can only reach somewhat higher shelves with a reacher or a stool, cannot lift up things like a mixer or a pot full of water and in what we hope is the unlikely event of Martha being in a wheelchair for any length of time, the kitchen would not be easily navigable for her.   Anyway, the kitchen looked lovely, but was no longer safe or effective for solitary Martha utilization.

Before
Before!

As a general rule, we eat pretty healthy.  We eat tons of vegetables, cook things from scratch, do not eat processed foods usually and enjoy foods that are varied.  In addition, Kevin has to eat gluten free and primarily lactose free. Both of us feel a lot better when we are avoiding refined sugar, wheat, and most dairy and eating legumes only occasionally.  This way of eating is pretty close to a Paleo diet but closer to “Primal” (which is Paleo plus high quality dairy) and we are not zealots about it but have honestly found that we feel better.  So long story shorter, both of us enjoy cooking, both of us feel better when we eat lots of veggies and a variety of other fresh foods, and both of are better off avoiding certain foods.

So, we hoped to be able to stick to a pretty health diet without an actual kitchen. Our initial plan was to set up an outdoor kitchen on our deck and use the grill, a steel table, and our instant pot or slow cooker out there.  The first thing we learned is that the outlets on the deck were turned off when the electricity to the kitchen was turned off. So much for that plan.  What ended up happening is we used a mixture of rooms and spaces.  Microwave in the living room (yup. On the marble topped table from Kevin’s late mother), above the white carpet. Dishes in the laundry room sink, which was okay except the counter in the laundry room is virtually non-existent and there are not enough outlets in there to plug in the appliances we wanted to use, which were the electric kettle, the coffee maker and the blender. Refrigerator in the garage. The grill, which is propane, did work still on the deck but it turned out grilling every day was not as fun as we thought and was not as effective for breakfast.  The Instant Pot idea was still reasonable but to Martha’s distress, the best counter space and outlet turned out to be in the guest bathroom. With contractors in and out of the house every day, shutting down that bathroom was not an option and cooking IN the bathroom made Martha squeamish.

Bacon.
Bacon cooking in the great outdoors. You’re welcome neighbors.
camp kitchen
Camp stove on a piece of plywood on top of a saw horses.

So…how did healthy eating go? Not that well to be honest.  We did a steel cut oatmeal in the instant pot, an Instant Pot chili, and Instant Pot stew, quite a few grilled meats, many smoothies…and a bunch of “rip apart a rotisserie chicken and add some baby carrots” type of meals, and a bunch of take out.  Kevin created a “camp kitchen” in the garage and made a few yummy dinners and some breakfast eggs there but the “counter space” arrangement involved here was not ideal, it was not close to a sink, could not be really left unattended for long for safety reasons, and of course still no oven. We did some healthy takeout, but honestly it got old and expensive very quickly.  Even healthy takeout gets cold, and old quickly.  We had much more food that we would usually avoid as the kitchen renovation timeline went on. And we really missed our oven, and our counter space, and our sink with disposal.  These are “first world problems” to be sure and we totally understand that we are lucky to have these problems to complain about.  But boy, we are looking forward to “after!”

Guest bathroom Instant Pot
Guest bathroom Instant Pot…the only time Martha could stand doing this.
Kitchen demolished
Kitchen interrupted