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Chicken-Wrapped Apple Sausage

A revived interest in sausage in recent years has led to an explosion of new varieties, many leaner than the old favorites. We find Bruce Aidells’s nationally distributed sausages among the best at balancing heartiness and healthiness, although many markets now make their own fine versions, too. If you can’t find an apple-laced chicken sausage, substitute any other made from chicken or turkey.

Serves4

Cooking Methodsmoking

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentsmoker

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturefruity, meaty, savory, smoky, spiced, sweet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub  or other savory seasoning blend to taste
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 uncooked chicken-apple sausages, such as Aidells
  • 1½ teaspoons brown mustard
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • Additional Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub or other savory seasoning blend, to taste
  • 1 tart apple, cored and sliced thin
  • ¼ cup chicken stock

Instructions

  1. About 2 to 3 hours before you plan to barbecue, combine the marinade ingredients in a lidded jar. Place the chicken in a large plastic bag or shallow, nonreactive dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate it.

  2. Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200°F to 220°F.

  3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

  4. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausages and sauté until just cooked through. Remove the sausages from the skillet, saimg the drippings. Cool the sausages briefly, and then rub them with the mustard.

  5. Drain the chicken, reserving 1 cup of the marinade. Arrange a sausage on each chicken breast, sprinkling 1 to 2 teaspoons of the onion over each portion, wrap the chicken around the sausage, securing each roll with toothpicks. It’s not necessary to entirely encase the sausages, but make the rolls as attractive as possible. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with dry rub.

  6. Transfer the chicken to the smoker and cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes.

  7. While the chicken smokes, add the remaining onion and the apple to the pan drippings and sauté over medium heat until both begin to soften. Pour in the stock and the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 5 minutes, allowing most of the liquid to evaporate.

  8. Remove the chicken from the smoker and arrange each chicken breast on a plate. Spoon equal portions of the apple mixture over the chicken and serve hot.

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