Homemade Italian Sausage
27 Jul 2023

Homemade Italian Sausage

27 Jul 2023

In my earlier days of cooking I focused on one chef in particular – Emeril Lagasse. His recipes often called for Italian, Spanish chorizo or Andouille sausages, and oftentimes I could only obtain Italian sausages at more upmarket grocers like Village Grocer or B.I.G. Even then, there was only one type available, and I couldn’t differentiate between the sweet or hot varieties the recipes called for. Fast forward many years later, when looking at the basic sausage sauce recipe from one of my pizza cookbooks, I decided to make my own Italian sausages.

Jump to Recipe

I modified the highly rated recipe by The Daring Gourmet, using fatty chicken thighs and using the same technique as making my Copycat Sausage McMuffins recipe. I did both hot and mild versions, for use in different recipes.

My KitchenAid grinder attachment, while effective, ended up overheating towards the end. For future batches I’d grind the sausage in two batches, e.g. grinding the mild batch first, letting the machine rest, then continuing with the hot batch.

Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, and chop into small pieces.

Cut the chicken meat into 2-inch cubes. Don’t trim any fat; fat is good.

In a dry skillet over medium high heat, add the black peppercorns and fennel seeds and toast, until fragrant and starting to smoke, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and pound coarsely using a pestle and mortar.

In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken meat, skin, and all the spices.

Mix until thoroughly combined.

Place the chicken pieces in a single layer on a tray. Freeze uncovered, until partially frozen, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Working with half of the mixture at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer, run the seasoned meat pieces through your grinder.

Run the ground meat through the machine again to further emulsify the mixture. If your grinder is heating up, I recommend letting it cool down a bit before repeating with the remaining mixture.

Wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before using, preferably overnight for best flavor.

The sausage will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.

Other recipes using Italian sausage on my blog:

Homemade Italian Sausage

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons garlic finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon celery leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar OR prune juice OR red grape juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, for hot Italian sausage
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground sage

Instructions
 

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, and chop into small pieces.
  • Cut the chicken meat into 2-inch cubes.
  • In a dry skillet over medium high heat, add the black peppercorns and fennel seeds and toast, until fragrant and starting to smoke, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pound coarsely using a pestle and mortar.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken meat, skin, and all the spices. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Place the chicken pieces in a single layer on a tray. Freeze uncovered, until partially frozen, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Working with half of the mixture at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer, run the seasoned meat pieces through your grinder.
  • Run the ground meat through the machine again to further emulsify the mixture.
  • Wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before using, preferably overnight for best flavor.
  • The sausage will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.
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