I've had the most success with chicken sausages, like this one for roasted garlic and feta chicken sausage. It's a nod to my Greek dominated neighborhood of Astoria, New York. Garlic and feta do most of the work in flavoring this chicken sausage.
- Yield:makes 4 pounds
- Active time: 1 1/2 hours
- Total time:2 hours
- 3 small heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 pounds pounds skin on, boneless chicken thighs, cubed
- 10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, chilled
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons, chilled
- Natural hog casings, soaked in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes and rinsed
- Type of fire: Direct
- Grill heat: medium-high
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top quarters off of heads of garlic. Place garlic cloves, cut side down, in center of a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal foil and place directly on oven rack. Cook until cloves are browned and very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then squeeze cloves out of the skin into a small bowl.
Combine garlic, chicken, 1/2 of the feta cheese, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Chill until ready to grind.
Grind the mixture through a meat grinder, fitted with small die, into a bowl set in ice.
Using paddle attachment of a standing mixer, mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add remaining feta, vinegar, lemon juice, increase speed to medium, and mix until liquid is incorporated, about 1 minute more.
Form a small sausage patty; place rest of sausage mixture in refrigerator. Cook patty in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings of sausage if necessary.
Stuff sausage into hog casings and twist into 6-inch links. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill over medium-high direct heat until sausage registers 160°F when an instant read thermometer is inserted in middle of link. Remove from grill, let rest for 5 minutes, and serve.