Tasting chicken sausages

Wow. This summer has been whizzing by – between kids’ sports activities, vacations and a compressed work schedule, the days blur together. It’s ironic that at a time when the best seasonal food is available, it’s hard finding the time to cook.

During the summer, we often fall back on grilling since it’s a quick cooking method that won’t heat up the house. So, when Gold’n Plump contacted me to try their new line of chicken sausages, I was intrigued because they’re promoted as a healthier alternative to pork sausages.

From the information they sent me:
Chicken is a natural fit for sausages and brats, because it has a neutral flavor base that easily absorbs seasonings, making for similar flavor to higher-fat varieties. Made from 100 percent, boneless, skinless thigh meat, the chicken sausages contain 50 percent less fat than most pork varieties. At just 4.5 to 8 grams of fat and 100 to 180 calories per serving, fat isn’t all the products leave out:  the new sausages are also gluten-free and nitrate-free; and three of the four are also dairy-free.

I loved the promise of healthier sausages. But would they taste as good as traditional pork-based sausages?

First, we tried out the hot Italian sausages in a dish that’s part of our regular dinner rotation, sausage and pepper pasta. We make this super easy summer meal by grilling the sausage and peppers then tossing them with cooked pasta and marinara sauce.

The Gold’n Plump Italian sausage had a nice spicy kick, with more heat than I expected.  It subbed in well for the Italian pork sausage that I normally use. I’d happily eat these again.

We prepared the chicken brats straight up on the grill, with no bells or whistles.

The brats were mildly spiced with the classic brat seasoning flavors. I admit that I’m spoiled for brats since local sausage maker Kramarczuk’s is near my house; while these sausages tasted fine, they didn’t quite measure up to my favorites. I’ve eaten grilled chicken brats before, but usually they’re flavored with spinach, feta or other ingredients; I guess that plain chicken brats are just not for me.

I would probably use these Gold’n Plump brats in recipes that call for sliced up sausage combined with other ingredients.

Finally, we tried the apple maple breakfast sausages as part of a “brinner” one evening. My family didn’t care for the appearance or taste of these sausages (I thought they were bland and couldn’t really discern the apple maple flavor).

Taste testing these products reminded me that chicken sausages in general have a finer texture and drier mouth feel than pork-based sausages, no doubt due to the lower percentage of fat. Personally, if the ingredient is going to play a starring role in a meal, I’d rather have the full-fat version and just eat it less often.

Bottom line? I think these chicken sausages are a good option if you’re incorporating them into dishes with other ingredients or you’re looking for a gluten-free or nitrate-free alternative.

Disclosure:  Gold’n Plump sent me a sampler pack of chicken sausages to review.  I was not required to post about the product. All opinions expressed are my own.  

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