|Pork andouille, chicken andouille, chicken brat, pork brat with hot dogs in back|
We hosted friends Sunday and centered the meal around sausages. I learned to two things: 1) the bottled gas runs out on your busiest day and 2) people jump at good chicken sausages.
We had an array of links, including pork sweet Italian and pork andouille from Laurel Meat Market. But I had bought more than two dozen chicken sausages at the Harbor East Whole Foods, and people jumped at the chance to eat the chicken bratwurst and chicken andouille.
Whole Foods makes great chicken sausages. They're delicious. They're zesty. And they're leaner so you can eat two with so qualms. (At least, you can eat two after you have rushed the second round of raw sausages off the quickly-cooling grill and onto a cast iron pan in the kitchen. Mrs. HowChow opened windows avoid repeating last summer's visit from the firemen.)
I'm a huge proponent of sausages. I have promoted them as the gateway drug to try local butchers and ethnic markets. I recommend mixing the Laurel Meat Market hot Italian into both meatballs and into double-ground "firecracker" burgers. And I relish a great pork sausage with great relish.
But I don't understand why Whole Foods and Harris Teeter are the only places where I find really good chicken sausage. I like the raw links that you can cook whole or break up into pasta sauce or other dishes. The chicken ones can have almost all the flavor with a fraction of the grease, and they convert sausages into something that I can eat regularly.
Apparently, I'm in the minority. Laurel Meat Market makes a wonderful array of sausages -- hot Italian, sweet Italian, peppers & onions, bratwurst, etc. -- but they said they discontinued chicken sausages because they didn't sell that well. Whole Foods often has four or six varieties in their butcher shop, and they're a variation from the Teeter's hot Italian. I load up when we visit, and they'll get me into the store -- and buying -- when the Columbia Whole Foods opens in 2014.
The last timeline that I saw were the initial press releases that -- as reported in the Columbia Patch -- said the Whole Foods was aiming at late summer or fall 2014.