Quarantine Cooking: Yesterday was grinding and sealing ground beef and homemade chicken sausage

We are currently in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and most of us are under either 'shelter in place' or 'self-isolate' mandates, others are self-quarantined.  You would think this would be a great time to focus on my cooking website and post with a lot of recipes and photos but meh.  I've not been motivated to update the site to tell you the truth.  But yes, I'm still obviously cooking!

The past month I've been venturing out to the grocery store once a week or so but as of this point, the number of Coronavirus positives in our area is on the rise and my immediate plan is to not venture out for 1 month.  My last grocery trip to Sam's Club did not have a long list of groceries, but I did have some priorities and plans.  One of those was I wanted to see if they had roasts in stock and available (they did - about 9 packages that day) and chicken (they only had about 4 or 5 packages of chicken at that moment but had a full case of chicken thighs, wings, and drumsticks).  I got a package of chicken breasts and a package of chicken thighs, then headed over to grab a container of fresh spinach.  I knew I already had feta at home.

The other items I got for our freezer were added to the cart before checking out but chicken and spinach - that was my 'main' mission as I wanted to make a double batch of my homemade chicken sausage for the deep freezer!

Yesterday I ground beef and made the chicken sausage.  My freezer is stocked with this yumminess and many different 'quarantine meals' will be made from them in the upcoming couple weeks!

My Homemade Chicken Spinach and Feta Sausages

4-5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cubed (can also mix thighs and breasts)
1 lb. fatback or 'salted pork' (I found this at Walmart - it adds the moisture you need in this recipe)
1/2 pound or about 6 slices bacon (use more or less as you wish)
1 T ground coriander
2 t salt (start with 2 and adjust after you taste test.  I like to use 3)
1 T garlic, minced
3/4 c feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c spinach - more or less - up to you. I usually use a couple 'handfuls' of fresh spinach
1/4 c olive oil
dash or two of a lemon lemon pepper
Meat Grinder (electric or manual - and even a cheap one is fine. There are also KitchenAid attachments to grind meat and poultry)

Grind the chicken, fatback and spinach into a large bowl.  Add the rest of your ingredients to the ground mixture in the bowl.  Mix well.  Taste test by cooking a small patty of your mixture on the stove in a bit of oil or microwave a bite sized bit.  Adjust the flavorings to your liking and test again.  When you are happy with the cooked taste of your sausage, continue.

(Note: I originally would grind the feta and spinach with the meat but I like seeing the crumbled feta chunks instead of just incorporating them into the sausage link or patty so I stir that in last.  If you are using frozen, thawed spinach, you can add that in at the end as well and not grind it - but if you are using fresh spinach leaves, grind those with the chicken as they are just too big.  If you use a lot of spinach, it will taste wonderful, but your sausages will be quite green.)

You can use casings and stuff your sausages (as I've posted about a couple times already here on but a quicker and easier way is to make a sausage patty or just freeze as ground sausage in your Ziplocks or sealer bags.

I used to make sausages and patties but more often than not now I simply freeze in food sealer bags in 1-2 pound portions.  When thawed, I either make a patty out of them to grill and serve on buns (this is a huge family favorite in our home... my husband says I can make these every week and he'd never get tired of them) or you brown it in a pan like you would ground beef and use it in many dishes - especially those that call for pasta, tomatoes or a tomato based sauce; those with an alfredo based sauce or my favorite?  You'll  find recipes here on the site but basically just add diced/sliced zucchini, yellow squash, some diced onion and some red/yellow/orange peppers.  Use olive oil in your pan and for seasonings it only needs salt and pepper.  When heated and ready, I top with crumbled feta.  Oh my goodness.  SO good.

First yesterday, I used two chuck roasts and ground them and packed them for 'ground beef' in our deep freezer.

Then I got to the yummy chicken sausage!  A huge family favorite in our entire family.


 Sealing the packages for the freezer. 

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