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Sausage Stuffed Morels

This recipe is merely a starting point for a variety of different sausages that do not necessarily have to contain chicken. The meat can be replaced with pork, beef, duck or any other protein you want. One variable must remain the same, the fat. Fat is essential to making any sausage in order to keep it moist and flavorful, and let’s be honest, fat is just plain delicious. Roughly 1/4 of the protein by volume should be fat. If you are working with particularly lean meat it is important to add fat to the recipe, usually in the form of pork fat. When we break down chickens at the restaurant, we remove the tenders and as much skin and fat off the carcass as possible. The skin and fat off a whole chicken, along with the tenders, is a perfect ratio of fat to lean.

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When grinding any meat, it is very important to keep your meat and grinder very cold, almost frozen. The meat should be partially frozen so that it has a “crunchy” texture. This makes it easier to grind and will ensure the fat and the meat aren’t heated due to the friction of the grinding which would cause your sausage to break, rendering it dry and grainy.

Chicken Sausage:
3 pounds chicken meat (fat and skin included), cubed
2 tbsp/35 grams kosher salt
0.3 oz/8 grams garlic, chopped
1 tsp/3 grams coriander seed
2 tsp/6 grams whole black peppercorns
1 tsp/3 grams dried oregano
1/2 tsp/1.5 grams chili flakes
1/8 cup ice cold dry white wine
1/8 cup ice cold champagne vinegar

Method:
Place your diced meat on a plate or sheet pan and place in the freezer. Toast the coriander, black pepper, oregano and chili flakes on medium-low heat until fragrant, but not popping or smoking. Grind the toasted spices in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. When your meat has become “crunchy” in the freezer, grind with the ground spices, garlic and salt. Then in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the seasoned ground meat with the wine and vinegar until the sausage is slightly emulsified and sticky to the touch, about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-low speed. Fry a small piece of the sausage in a sauté pan with some oil and taste for seasoning and adjust according to your preference.

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Sausage Stuffed Morels:
For this recipe, we got in some beautiful local morels and stuffed them with the sausage. The morels are quickly brined in a saltwater solution, about 10% salt by volume dissolved into warm water, for about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and dry well. Cut the stem off the mushrooms and fill the caps to the brim with the sausage. Sauté in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes and roast in a 500° oven until the sausage is fully cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with some spicy greens dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

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