Italian Turkey and Sun Dried Tomato Sausage

Friends and I made the following recipe below for the sausage making event I hosted. This is a favorite turkey sausage flavor that is everything Italian. It combines sun dried tomatoes, wine and fennel in this turkey sausage. Add it to pasta dishes or anything you'd like to add some Italian flair in.

When making turkey sausage, you can either use pre-packaged ground turkey or better yet, grind it yourself... without a meat grinder. All you'll need is a food processor! In the recipe, it's recmomended to use boneless turkey thighs with the skin on. The thighs are flavorful and the skin adds some fat to help with more flavor. I've also found that boneless turkey thighs are much more economical that pre-packaged ground turkey.

Italian Turkey and Sun Dried Tomato Sausage
recipe slightly adapted from Bruce Aidells
3 1/2 lbs boneless turkey thighs (or ground turkey)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flavkes
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Freeze the fresh turkey thighs for 15 minutes to firm them up a bit, making it easier to dice and process. Remove the turkey thighs from the freezer and dice the turkey (meat and skin) in small cubes about 1 inch pieces.

Place the diced turkey in your food processor and pulse until the turkey is a medium to fine grind.
Place the meat into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients.

Knead and stir the meat with your hands until everything is well blended. Don't overmix and warm up the sausage.

Wrap the bulk sausage into 1/2 lb packages withing aluminum foil, plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag. Refrigerate and use within 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes seven or eight 1/2 pound packages.

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