From Flying Sausages: Simple, Savory Recipes for Creating and Cooking with Chicken and Turkey Sausages, by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly.

Makes seven or eight 1/2-pound packages

When people get their first taste of Thai cooking, it’s often a revelation and they are converts for life. Green chiles and lots of heat, fresh basil, mint and cilantro, limes and lemongrass, ginger, green curry, coconut milk, fish sauce - all these flavors make you want to sit up and sing (or at least reach for a Singha beer). Our Thai Chicken and Turkey Sausage incorporates these flavors and gives you the ability to make delicious Thai-accented dishes easily and quickly. (See Flying Sausages for several recipe ideas.)

As in other sausages, we use authentic Thai seasonings to give you the real flavors of the cuisine. The advantage is that you can incorporate these exotic flavors into packages of sausage stored in the freezer, and you don’t have to worry about keeping all the sauces and herbs on the shelf or in the pantry indefinitely.

About Salt: Salt is a necessary component of sausage's flavor and texture. If you use too little salt or leave it out altogether, the sausage will taste flat and bland. Salt is also necessary to stabilize the muscle proteins that act as a glue to bind the individual particles of meat together - without it the sausage would be crumbly and dry. Our recipes use a minimum of salt for flavor and binding, far less than most commercial products.

  • 1 3/4 lbs. boned chicken thighs with skin (about 2 1/4 pounds with bones) or one and three-fourths pounds ground chicken
  • 1 3/4 lbs. boned turkey thighs with skin (about two and one-fourth pounds with bones) or one and three-fourths pounds ground turkey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai Green Curry Paste, imported or homemade (page 185 in Flying Sausages)
  • 1 bunch (4 to 6 ounces) fresh cilantro, including stems and roots, cleaned and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 and one-half tablespoons chopped garlic
  • One and one-half tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup Southeast Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

If using chicken and turkey thighs, coarsely grind the meat and skin or chop coarsely in batches in a food processor (see To Make Poultry Sausage in Bulk, page 14).

Add the remaining ingredients to the ground chicken and turkey in a large bowl or plastic tub and blend thoroughly with your hands. Fry a small patty until done and taste for salt, pepper, and other seasonings.

Divide the sausage into 7 or 8 portions (about one-third pound each), wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate or freeze for later use.