Sausage: Linking it all together

Desperation Dinners

Desperation Dinners

October 01, 2008|By BEVERLY MILLS, with ALICIA ROSS

I'm in love with the new smoked chicken sausages now available in most large markets. They not only have the quick-and-easy benefits of traditional smoked sausages -- fully cooked, minimal heating required and long shelf life -- but most have no added hormones, antibiotics, MSG, nitrates or gluten.

The flavors are addictive: andouille, tomato basil and mozzarella, chicken and apple, and spinach fontina and roasted garlic, just to name a few. Chicken sausage works well in just about any recipe that calls for traditional smoked sausage or kielbasa: soups, stews, egg scrambles, fancy franks and as a pizza topper. Today, we're branching a bit further with a skillet meal -- chicken sausage, apple and cabbage sauté.

Several brands of chicken sausage are sold as individual links in the deli, and there's a wide variety in packages in the meat case. If you come to love chicken sausages as much as I do, consider purchasing in bulk from warehouse stores and you'll save about half. Unopened packages will freeze for up to four months, so there's no waste with the larger purchase.


Here's our short list of chicken sausages and the Web sites of the parent companies for you to check out.

o Chef Bruce Aidells Smoked Chicken Sausages:

o Casual Gourmet Smoked Chicken Sausages:

o Amylu Sausages:

o Hans All-Natural Smoked Chicken Sausages:

With crisp-tender cabbage and flavorful apples, today's recipe stirs together in less than 30 minutes and is a perfect way to celebrate cooler autumn weather.


o Chicken Sausage, Apple and Cabbage Saute

o Fruit cup

o Hearty wheat rolls

Chicken Sausage, Apple and Cabbage Sauté

Start to finish: 28 minutes

Cook's note: For testing purposes, we used Aidells Smoked Chicken and Apple Sausage. An equal amount of any smoked sausage or kielbasa can be substituted.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large onion (for 1 cup thin slices)
4 links (12 ounces) smoked chicken sausage, see Cook's note

2 Granny Smith apples (about 1-1/2 pounds, for about 2-1/2 cups pieces)
1 1/2 pounds green cabbage (for 8 cups thinly sliced, loosely packed)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or more to taste

In a 12-inch, extra-deep skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Peel the onion, and slice it into thin (1/8-inch thick) slices, adding to the skillet as you slice. Stir, and cook while slicing each sausage link into 1/2-inch pieces. Set the slices aside.

Core but do not peel the apples. Chop the apples into bite-size pieces. Add all of the apples and sausage slices to the skillet. Stir well. Continue to cook over medium heat. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage (no larger than 1/4-inch-wide pieces for quick cooking), and add it to the skillet. Add the water, butter and honey, and stir to mix well. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the skillet, and steam for 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover, stir, and toss well. Re-cover, and steam until the cabbage is crisp tender, about 5 to 6 minutes more.

Uncover the skillet, and sprinkle the pepper and vinegar over the cabbage mixture. Toss to mix. Taste, and add more vinegar, if desired. Serve at once.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 321 calories (43 percent from fat), 16 g fat (6 g saturated), 102 mg cholesterol, 16 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 708 mg sodium

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (Workman, 2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!" (Workman, 2006). Contact them at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. Or visit the Desperation Dinners Web site at

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