Chicken Coop Chatter©
Use any ground meat, beef, pork, poultry.
1 pound ground meat
1 T. Herbes de Provence*
1 tsp. Garlic powder
In a medium sized bowl mix the meat and seasonings until fully incorporated. Take a small amount of the meat mixture and roll into a ball, then into a 5 or 6 inch roll onto aluminum foil Wrap the foil snuggly around the meat roll, twisting the ends. Pierce with a fork or knife. Set on a flat metal tray and set in the preheated smoker with your choice of wood chips. During the last 1/2 hour of smoking unwrap the foil to finish smoking the sausage. Make enough for breakfast sausage. Simply make patties and cook until done. Serve with eggs and fruit for a hearty breakfast without all the added ingredients. Experiment with your favorite seasonings and amounts used to taste. I prefer mild flavored sausage. You can also combine ground meats for your own unique sausage. I have combined beef, pork and poultry to make sausage. Refrigerate or freeze.
You can do this right in your own oven or in your grill if you do not have a smoker. Just set the oven to 250. Though you won't get the smoked flavor in the oven, you can add 1/2 tsp. Smoke flavoring if desired. Bake in oven until done. This can take as much as 2 hours. When finished, carefully unwrap the foil and allow to cool before slicing.
Chicken Coop Chatter© Herbes de Provence seasoning is a simple recipe. Equal parts of the following herbs. Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Marjoram, Savory (you can use sage if you prefer). For a little twist on my version, add a pinch of lavender and crushed Anise seed. I either use my own dried herbs or purchase bulk herbs for making up my seasonings. Place herb mixture in air-tight containers in a cool dark cupboard.
My method of smoking:
I am not fond of heavily smoked foods, so I typically use fruit wood, but choice of wood chips is entirely up to preferences. There are large chips and small chips to choose from. I prefer the small chips, but either work fine. I soak the wood chips at least an hour in hot water. Preheat the smoker, to reach the optimum temperature for the item you are smoking. Place the item you are smoking into the smoker on the lowest shelf to start. Place the soaked wood chips in the chip pan. When the chips have turned to ash, I do not add additional chips, however if you want stronger flavor you can add more chips as necessary, or not soak the wood and just use it dry. About half way through the smoking process, move the meat or other smoking project to the middle or top shelf if you have an option. I always use a meat thermometer and continue to smoke the meat until the inner core temperature reading has reached proper temperature. An example, poultry should be 165 degrees in the fleshiest part of the meat. Read the instructions with your meat thermometer for proper inner core temperatures for items you are smoking.
Smoking is a learning experience, and you will find that you either like a milder smoke flavor or a stronger flavor, you will find certain meats lend best to smoking while others may not be to your liking. Follow the manufacturer instructions that came with your smoker for best results when you are learning to use the smoker. Each one may be a little different and thermometers may not all be accurate. Times may vary so until you know about the proper length of time with your smoker, check about every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to make sure the temperature has not fluctuated and baste as necessary. I baste right up to the last half hour then cover with foil to hold heat in the meat and keep it from drying out.
Enjoy the experience and once you have tried smoking according to instructions, feel free to experiment. Always have an accurate meat thermometer or meat probe if smoking hams and roasts and whole poultry, to make sure they are done to proper temperature.
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