Total time: 35 minutes, plus chilling time
Servings: Makes about 4 pounds sausage
Note: Adapted from "Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. This recipe requires a meat grinder.
1/2 cup apple cider
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 1/2 pounds boned chicken thighs with skin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 ounces dried apples, cut into 1/4 -inch dice (you will have about 1 cup)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
About 5 feet medium sausage casings, optional
1. In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil, then reduce to a good simmer. Cook until the cider reduces to one-fourth cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bouillon cube, stirring until the cube dissolves. Place the mixture in a glass container and refrigerate until chilled.
2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the salt, black pepper, sage, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover the bowl and place the chicken in the freezer just until it begins to stiffen, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the freezer and grind with a meat grinder fitted with a three-eighths-inch grinding plate into a large bowl set over an ice bath. Once the chicken is ground, stir in the reduced cider, diced apples and onion. Knead and squeeze the mixture until well blended.
4. Fry a small patty until done to check the flavor and seasoning (it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees). If necessary, adjust salt, pepper and other seasonings, then fry another small patty and check again.
5. Divide the sausage into 7 or 8 portions (each about one-half pound). Alternatively, stuff the sausage into the casing, following the manufacturer's instructions for your sausage stuffer; tie into 5-inch links. Refrigerate the sausage up to 2 days, or freeze up to 2 months.
Each 4-ounce serving: 189 calories; 17 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 64 mg. cholesterol; 414 mg. sodium.