Our first three days in France were spent indulging in foods we don’t normally eat on a regular basis—like French sausage and cured meats, fresh from the Farmers Market. The varieties of sausage displayed at the open markets were unbelievable, offering a huge selection of flavors like herb, garlic, fennel, and pepper— just to name a few.
Having our larger meal for lunch, like true Frenchies, we’d usually have a smaller market day meal at night. This usually consisted of cheese, sausage, cured meat, bread, olives, and whatever else looked good to us that day. But after three days of eating this way, my fingers swelled and I wondered if I’d have to have my rings cut off.
I guess the French have cast-iron stomachs or maybe they’re born with a special salt filter. One night my husband had heartburn so bad, we thought he might be having a heart attack! So after a few days of stress and discomfort, we took a break and tried eating a bit lighter for the next few days. Americans.
Although I love the taste of salty cured fresh meats, they’ve become an occasional indulgence. But my Provençal Chicken Sausage is a healthy alternative which eliminates the hard-to-digest sausage casing. I use this recipe all the time in a variety of dishes. It especially works well added as a topping to my Rustic Provencal Pizza, tossed in my Roasted Provencal Tomato Sauce, or in my Market Day Stuffed Mushrooms. No more swollen fingers or fake heart attacks for this crew. Bon Appetit!
Provencal Chicken Sausage Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breasts (about 2 large boneless breasts cut in chunks)
1 lb. chicken thighs (about 4 cut in chunks)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 heaping tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
¼ cup chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing)
Parchment paper for freezing
Provencal Chicken Sausage Directions
Grind chicken chunks in a food processor. Add rest of ingredients and blend until well incorporated, scraping the sides of bowl as needed. Mixture will be sticky.
I prefer making this a day ahead and then storing it in the fridge to allow the flavors to marry. You can also store in the freezer to use at a later date. Just divide the mixture in half, scoop each onto parchment, and then roll into a log. Twist ends of parchment to seal and label the logs. Place logs in a Ziploc and Freeze until needed. Each log should be about 1 lb.
When you’re ready to cook your sausage, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO to a heated skillet and sauté sausage by breaking it up with a spatula. If you’re taking the sausage from the freezer, make sure it’s fully defrosted. Cook till lightly browned and heated through.