Southwestern-Style Chicken & Green Chile Sausage with Wild Mushroom Risotto
For the sausage (adapted from a Bruce Aidells recipe):
- 42 mm+ (1.6 inch or larger) diameter hog casings (you can use whatever casings you prefer, or make the sausage uncased)
- 237 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 237 ml (1 cup) tequila
- 3 kg (6.8 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1.5 kg (3.2 lbs.) lean pork (I used trimmings from racks of spareribs)
- .9 kg (2 lbs.) high quality pork backfat, skin removed (I used fat from a heritage pig I butchered last year)
- 237 ml (1 cup) roasted green chilies (I used a mixture of mild and medium hot varieties from my garden. Roasted on hot grill until well charred, place in bowl covered with plastic to steam, then peel and de-seed.)
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) minced fresh garlic
- 237 ml (1 cup) minced fresh cilantro
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) tamise grained* salt (Korean sea salt is my normal cooking salt)
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) ground black pepper
For the wild mushroom risotto:
- 340 grams (12 ounces) mixed wild mushrooms (I used chanterelles and oyster mushrooms that I foraged near my place)
- 57 grams (4 tablespoons) butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 355 ml (1-1/2 cups) Arborio rice
- 177 ml (¾ cup) Chardonnay
- .9 liter (1 quart) turkey stock**
- 237 ml (1 cup) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
*Note from the editor: Tamise grained salt is a coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel finishing salt.
**I make my stock from the fresh carcass of a turkey I debone for other meals, cooking it with mirepoix, herbs, garlic, and some homemade soy miso.
- For the sausage: Rinse the hog casings well to remove salt. Soak in a bowl of warm water. (I used a larger hog casing for this so I could cook a little longer and keep the sausage moist.)
2. Mix lime juice and tequila and place in freezer. Partially freeze the meats and fat. Grind the chicken with a 9.5 mm (3/8-inch) die. Grind the pork and fat with 6.4 mm (¼-inch) die.
3. In a large plastic tub or stainless-steel pan, combine the chicken and meats with the chilled lime juice-tequila, chilies, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Mix until the mixture is extremely sticky and sticks all over your hands. This is necessary to get a good bind in the sausage links.
4. Fill the stuffer with the meat and stuff the sausage until it is firm, but not over-stuffed. There needs to be a little play in order to twist into links. Twist the sausage into 127 mm (five-inch) links.
5. To cook the sausage, light about 10-15 coals. Prepare grill for indirect cooking place chunks of wood on the coals so they burn slowly with some flame. I like to use sassafras wood because it imparts a sweet smoke. Adjust the vents to hold the grill at about 177°C (350°F).
6. Place the sausage links on the grill not directly over the coals. Cook for about 40 minutes, turning once at the midpoint.
7. For the wild mushroom risotto: Clean and cut mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. (Unless foraged, mushrooms are very dirty. I usually just wipe them with a moist paper towel or use a knife tip to flick away any pieces of dirt or bugs.) Heat 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the butter in a skillet until it stops foaming. Add the mushrooms and cook until any moisture they release is evaporated and the mushrooms just start to brown. Add a small amount of salt to taste.
8. Heat the remaining 30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter in a sauté pan. Add onion and cook until the edges begin to brown. Add the rice and stir until the rice becomes opaque. Add the wine. Continue stirring until the wine is evaporated. Add the stock. Bring to a strong simmer. Continue stirring. Add the mushrooms. Stir the rice frequently. When the rice starts to give up some starch and the broth becomes creamy in appearance, add the cheese and stir in well. Stir a bit more until the rice is perfectly cooked and there is still liquid to amply coat everything. Garnish with parsley and serve.