Making homemade sausage is not nearly as hard as you may think, and these AIP-friendly apple and chicken breakfast sausages are completely worth the effort! Simply start with pre-ground meat, mix in seasonings of your choice, and then shape into either patties or links. You can make a batch and fry or bake right away, and then just quickly re-heat on busy mornings.
Apple chicken sausage inspiration
I won’t try to hide the fact that these are inspired by a desire to recreate the flavor of some popular store-bought sausages that are “almost AIP,” with the exception of some unnamed “spices.” I actually tried a couple different variations using ground chicken and fresh apples and was not happy with the texture of any as they were all turning out spongy and soggy, but also confoundingly a bit dry and bland. Then I reviewed the ingredient label of those inspiration sausages one more time and noticed that they listed “dried apples.”
Hmmm… could that be the secret? On my next trip to the store I grabbed a bag of unsweetened dried apple rings, along with a pound of ground chicken, so I could give it one more try. And voila! That was the key. Just an ounce of dried apples, finely chopped, provided the perfect amount of flavor and sweetness without over burdening it with too much moisture.
Notes on AIP sausage ingredients
- Look for dried apples that list only apples in the ingredient list. There should be no preservatives or sweeteners of any kind.
- Store-bought ground chicken makes this an even easier process, but check the ingredient labels before you purchase. Ideally, it will list only chicken and not include any added flavoring agents. You’ll frequently find “rosemary extract” in organic ground poultry, which is not necessarily problematic but I prefer to avoid since we have no way of knowing what process other ingredients are used to create that extract. If you can’t find any ground chicken without that added ingredient, you can use it anyway but pay careful attention to how it makes you feel. Or, you may want to instead buy boneless skinless chicken thighs and use a food processor or meat grinder to grind it yourself. That’s more work, of course, but worth the effort if you are very sensitive to food additives (or are trying to determine your degree of sensitivity).
- As always, use dried spices that come from a reputable company that you trust to be gluten-free. ShopAIP is a great resource for all things flavorful and AIP-friendly. If you are just getting started on AIP, I recommend the “Savor the Flavor” bundle to start your pantry!
Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe
- 1 ounce (about ¼ cup when chopped) dried apples
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other AIP-friendly fat)
- So that you don't have to stop in the middle when you hands are covered in chicken, get everything set up before you begin working, including a bowl of water that you'll be able to dip your hands into while shaping the sausages and laying out piece of parchment paper or large plate that you can put the formed sausages on prior to frying.
- Finely chop dried apples.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dried apples, ground chicken meat, onion powder, ginger, sage, and salt. Use your hands to make sure everything is evenly combined.
- Shape the sausages into about 12 small patties or links. Wet hands make this easier, so dip your hands into the bowl of water in between each sausage.
- Wash your hands now and get ready to cook the sausages.
- Heat coconut oil or other fat in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, carefully start transferring the sausages into the skillet using tongs or a metal spatula.
- The sausages should take about 10-12 minutes to cook through (reading 165° F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center), but you need to watch them carefully and use tongs to turn them frequently so they don't get burnt on any one side.
- Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days, reheating prior to eating.
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Looking for more AIP breakfast recipe ideas? Check out this post!
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