A New Fall Favorite
I’ve made these chicken sausages twice in the past week, something I rarely do. They are quick, freeze well and tasty and relatively healthy so there’s a lot to like. I’m trying something new this year – embracing the fall instead of lamenting the end of summer and impending doom of winter in the Northeast. See what I mean? My actions items include lots of leaf gazing, seasonal baking and autumnal (ha) cooking. I’ve gotta say, it’s actually working! Yep, my “Fall Grinch” heart is starting to feel and I’ve gotta give these little sausages some serious credit.
NJ Turnpike Inspo
I came up with this recipe idea while driving home from work one day last winter. I only know this because I found my Instagram story where I stated this fact. This is why I post things! Sometimes I forget dishes I’ve made.
I can’t believe it took me so long to make them again because they were so tasty! Thinking back, wanted to make a leaner, lower sodium breakfast sausage when I couldn’t find my go-to frozen brand at the grocery store. I got the idea of adding chopped prosciutto to very lean ground chicken to maximize flavor and texture while still keeping things low fat.
Once I knew prosciutto would be in the sausage, I thought of Chicken Saltimbocca, the Italian dish where chicken wrapped with topped with sage and wrapped with prosciutto before pan frying. Sage is also in most American breakfast sausages already so it made the team. Rounding things out was a touch of maple syrup give just a hint of sweetness and garlic for more savory flavor. The first time, I pan fried them in a spray of olive oil and they came out golden brown and as tasty as I’d hoped for on my drive home. There it was a delicious, easy and lean sausage with just a handful ingredients.
The 2nd time around I baking the sausages instead of pan frying and adding a decorative and functional sage leaf to each patty.
The filter vents on my stove really just blow un-filtered fumes into the rest of the apartment. I’m someone who’s easily annoyed by lingering food aromas – in my home or on my clothes, so this is particularly irksome. Yep, a great external exhaust system is part of all my dream kitchen fantasies. I digress. While sometimes it’s worth firing up a skillet to pan fry things, I decided to give the oven a shot at making my lean sausage dreams come true… and it worked! They came out lightly golden and remained juicy. That said, if you’d like max browning on your patties, stick with pan frying in a skillet. Just make sure to lightly coat it with oil first so they don’t stick.
I added a sage leaf to the outside of each sausage because I think it’s cute and ALSO because crisped sage leaves are delicious and impart extra flavor. I can’t wait for you to give them a try!
Chicken, Prosciutto & Sage Sausage Patties
These simple, lean sausages pack a lot of flavor. You can make them ahead and freeze them for an easy breakfast or incorporate them in a lunch or dinner.
You can freeze the prosciutto for 10 minutes for easier slicing. I used 100% olive oil spray because it’s quick. You could use avocado oil, ghee or another high temp oil of your choice.
As written, 2 patties are 1 point on WW Freestyle.
- 1 lb 98% lean ground chicken (you can use a higher fat % if you like)
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- 1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 12 fresh sage leaves (8 smaller ones for the tops of each patties)
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- olive oil (in a spray can is easiest)
- sheet pan (9 x 13 or larger)
- cutting board
- chef’s knife (or similar)
- mixing bowl
- microplane/grater (optional for the garlic)
- Make sure there’s a rack positioned in the middle of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 deg C. Lightly coat your baking sheet with oil. Set aside the 8 smaller whole sage leaves for the tops of the patties.
- Stack the 4 slices of prosciutto on top of each other. Start at one end in the longer direction and roll them up like a cigar. Cut the prosciutto roll into thin slices. Pile the slices into a mound and roughly chop through it with your knife to cut the prosciutto into smaller pieces. It doesn’t need to be pretty, you just want little bits of prosciutto throughout each sausage patty. Use your fingers to roughly separate the layers.
- Repeat the same rolling, stacking slicing and chopping process with the 4 remaining sage leaves. You want even smaller pieces of sage to mix into the sausage.
- Remove the peel from the clove of garlic, grate it* and add it to the bowl. Add the chopped sage, chopped prosciutto, maple, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix everything together.
- Add the ground chicken and use your hands to mixed everything together just until things look well dispersed.
- With your hands in the bowl, split the mixture in half. Take one half and split into 4 equal-ish portion within the bowl. You should have 4 smaller portions and the remaining half.
- Pat each of the 4 smaller portions into a ball/mound in the palm of your hand and place 1 sage leaf on top. (Yes, it will be a bit sticky. You’re doing it right.) Take the ball place it sage leaf side down onto the oiled baking sheet.
- Split the remaining half of the chicken mixture into 4 equal-ish portions. Repeat the previous step of forming balls. You should have 8 sausage balls on the baking sheet.
- Take your fingers and flatten each ball into a patty (about 1/2 inch thick). Wash your hands thoroughly. Spray the patties with oil then place them in the pre-heated oven for 7 minutes.
- At 7 minutes, use the spatula to check and see if the underside of a sausage (sage leaf side) has started to brown. If not, let them go for another 5 minutes and check again. Once the underside has started to brown, flip all the sausages over and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. They should cook for 13-17 minutes total depending on your oven. If you want to double check for done-ness, you can cut one in half. There will be some pink bits from the prosciutto, but overall, the interior should be a creamy white.
Once cooled, you can wrap them individually or in a stack in plastic wrap and freeze them in a freezer bag or freezable container.
Recipe Photo Guide
Ways to Eat and Variations to Try
Of course, you could serve these with eggs, or grits if you’re lucky. You can also add them to a salad or make a breakfast sandwich or other time sandwich (sidenote: why do we only distinguish “breakfast” sandwiches?, not lunch or dinner sandwiches. A conversation for another time…). A swap for ground turkey or pork would be nice.
Or save some time and skip the patty work altogether. You could brown the sausage mixture in a skillet and turn it into a hearty pasta sauce with some canned tomatoes or white wine and chicken broth. Perhaps biscuits and gravy?! Ok, I might try that next. Fortunately, I have many a Northeast fall night ahead of me. See what I did there? #fallpositivity
I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it works for you and if you have any remix ideas. Leave me a comment or tag me at @letsgosho or with #letsgosho Happy Fall’n!