Ever looked at Costco’s chicken sausage and wondered how best to cook it? You’re not alone. This popular item notches up significant sales across the country due to its flavorful taste and nutritional aspects. Notably known for being less greasy than its pork counterpart, it’s a delicious choice for any meal. Our focus here is to delve into the deep recesses of Costco’s chicken sausage; discussing what exactly it is, its ingredients and the nutritional facts that accompany it. Add to this, the different varieties that are available for your discerning palate. Alongside, we will take a deep dive into the cooking techniques, from grilling to pan-frying, boiling, and roasting, that can be used to extract maximum flavor. Then we’ll top it off by delving into the exciting world of recipes which can turn this sausage into culinary delights, pairing well with various ingredients to suit all taste buds.
Understanding Costco’s Chicken Sausage
Understanding Costco’s Chicken Sausage
Costco’s chicken sausage is a versatile and protein-rich food product carried by the Costco wholesale corporation. The product falls under the processed meat category and is commonly used in several dishes ranging from pasta and pizzas to grilled recipes. It provides a leaner alternative to traditional pork sausages and has become a fan favorite among health-conscious individuals due to its low fat content and overall health benefits.
Ingredients and Nutritional Facts of Costco’s Chicken Sausage
The main ingredient in Costco’s chicken sausage is, of course, chicken. This is often combined with various spices and seasonings to enhance its taste. Most types contain salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and fennel. However, recipes may vary depending on the variety.
As far as nutritional facts are concerned, serving sizes can vary, but many chicken sausage products fall roughly between 100-150 calories per link. Since they are made mostly from chicken, these sausages are typically high in protein, containing an average of about 15 grams per link. Fat content is relatively low in contrast to red meat-based sausages, averaging about 2.5 grams per link. As with any processed food, sodium content can vary but is typically on the higher side.
Different Varieties Available
Costco offers a variety of chicken sausage products to cater to diverse taste profiles. For those who prefer a bit of heat, there’s the Hot Italian Chicken Sausage, flavored with red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, perfect for adding a spicy kick to your dish. The Mild Italian variety, on the other hand, is infused with mild spices for a less fiery option.
The Chicken Apple Sausage is another popular option, made with chunks of real apple and cinnamon for a unique savory-sweet bite. For those seeking a more unconventional flavor, the Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage is a refreshing option where chicken sausage gets a Mediterranean twist with the inclusion of spinach and feta cheese.
Understanding the various factors about the chicken sausage you are using can indeed help in improving your cooking skills. Knowing what type of chicken sausage to use can significantly impact your dish. It’s about knowing the product’s characteristics: its flavor profile, how it cooks, and its nutritional content. By gaining a solid grasp of these fundamentals, you can better navigate the vast culinary possibilities of cooking with Costco’s Chicken Sausages.
Different Methods of Preparation
Grilling your Costco chicken sausage adds a unique flavor as the high heat caramelizes the exterior and creates a smoky taste. Ensure your grill is pre-heated to 350°F. Place the sausages on the grill, turning them every 5 minutes for even cooking. This method typically takes up to 15 minutes, or until the sausages reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Pan-frying chicken sausage brings out a delightful, caramelized flavor while keeping the insides juicy. To pan-fry, heat a flat non-stick pan on medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to prevent the sausage from sticking. Place the sausages in the pan, turning every 2-3 minutes to achieve an even, golden-brown color and to ensure the temperature of the sausages reaches 165°F.
Boiling Costco chicken sausage is a healthful cooking method, as it does not require any oil. Fill a pot with enough water to fully submerge the sausages, then bring it to a boil. Add the sausages, reducing the heat to low. Allow them to simmer for about 10-12 minutes, ensuring they reach the recommended internal temperature of 165°F.
Roasting sausages can bring out a deep, rich flavor profile. To roast chicken sausages, preheat your oven to 375°F. Arrange the sausages on a baking tray, and let them roast for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
Safe Handling and Storage of Chicken Sausage
Safe handling of your Costco chicken sausage begins the moment you buy it. It should stay below 40°F, so pick up your sausage last when shopping and bring it home promptly. Once home, refrigerate the sausage immediately if you plan to use it within a few days. For longer preservation, store the sausage in a freezer at 0°F or less.
When you’re ready to cook, take out only what you need and promptly return the rest to the refrigerator or freezer. After cooking, any leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours. Always remember to use cooked chicken sausage within four days if stored in a refrigerator or four months when kept in a freezer at appropriate temperatures.
Discovering Chicken Sausage Dishes
Chicken sausage offers a unique taste to your dishes. Start by trying out simple recipes to get a feel of how chicken sausage spices up your dishes. One of the easiest and tastiest recipes to try is grilled chicken sausage with peppers. To prepare this dish, you’ll need chicken sausage, bell peppers of different colors, onions, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Start by cutting the sausages into three-inch pieces and the peppers and onions into chunks. Toss the sausage, peppers, and onions in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then skewer them and grill until the veggies are tender and the sausages are fully cooked. Enjoy your grilled sausage and peppers dish with a side of crusty bread or over rice.
Venturing into Hearty Casseroles
As you get more comfortable cooking with chicken sausage, venture into more involved recipes like chicken sausage casseroles. For this dish, gather ingredients such as cut chicken sausage, chopped onions and peppers, minced garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, heavy cream, pasta, shredded cheese, olive oil, and seasoning. Start by heating up some olive oil in a pan, add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage and set aside. In the same pan, add onions, peppers, and garlic and sauté until tender. Add in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, heavy cream, and pasta. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer. Stir in the cooked sausage and cheese until everything is well combined and the cheese is melted. This hearty dish offers a bit fancier comfort food twist to the chicken sausage.
Exploring Pasta and Chicken Sausage
Chicken sausage can add depth to your pasta dishes. To make a simple pasta with chicken sausage, you will need pasta, chicken sausage, olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, spinach, parmesan cheese, and seasonings of your choice. Start by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. In another pan, cook the sausages until they’re nicely browned. In the same pan, add some olive oil, garlic, and cook for a minute. Add in cherry tomatoes and cook until they’re slightly softened. Add the chopped spinach and cook until it just wilts. Add the cooked pasta and sausage to the veggie mix. Season to taste, top with parmesan cheese, and serve.
Flavor Pairings with Chicken Sausage
Chicken sausage pairs well with a variety of flavors. For a Mediterranean spin, pair the sausage with ingredients like olives, feta cheese, and flatbreads. For lovers of Asian cuisine, it’s savory when it’s paired with vegetables stir-fry and served over rice. If you want a Mexican twist, stuffing the chicken sausage into a tortilla and adding cheese, beans, and salsa will create a tasty chicken sausage taco. Moreover, chicken sausage works well in traditional American dishes. Substitute them in traditional dishes that call for pork or beef sausage to create a healthier option while keeping the hearty flavor.
By trying these recipes, you can maximize Costco’s chicken sausage to its full potential. These steps provide a basic framework, which you can modify as you experiment more with Costco’s chicken sausage. Whether it is for a simple midweek dinner or a weekend gathering, these recipes will surely spice up your menu.
Mastering the art of cooking with Costco’s chicken sausage opens a new world of culinary opportunities. Understanding its core attributes will certainly help you capitalize on this versatile ingredient. Equipping yourself with the variety of preparation techniques discussed guarantees you’re ready to handle and cook sausages like a professional chef. Exploring the provided recipes allows you not only to enjoy a hearty meal but also expand your cooking repertoire. Remember, a well-cooked sausage dish can easily be the showstopper meal at your next dinner party. So, embark on this flavorful adventure, and let Costco’s chicken sausage be the star of your meal.