Duck Sausage Sliders with the KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder

Thursday, September 20, 2018

This post is in partnership with KitchenAid.®

It’s probably no secret by now that I love any excuse to whip up some fancy appetizers! Between work and personal life, there’s plenty of opportunities to entertain at home in the summer and the weather gives a great excuse to take meals outdoors. I like to use ingredients in my menus that offer my guests something unexpected or an upgrade from what we all typically eat day to day. The new KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder attachment for my stand mixer provided me with just the inspiration I needed to transform today’s star ingredient, duck!

Between you and me, I have a habit of buying whole ducks with every intention of learning how to roast one, but then I get a more interesting idea and break the duck down into separate parts. Today was no exception! With a new food grinder to play with, burgers naturally came to mind. That was the idea anyway; the results ended up reminding me more of duck flavored breakfast sausage! Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect on the first round. I’d never worked with ground duck before and most of the recipes I found online were made with the breasts only. I wanted something much fattier without adding pork like some people recommended. Instead, I incorporated the thighs as well as lots of skin and fat. (For this reason, it was much more economical to buy a whole duck instead of separate parts.) This recipe was a guessing game going in, but I think it’s cool to just enjoy the process of figuring out something new in the kitchen. I’ve been doing a ton of recipe development work lately, and I’m finding it to be a breath of fresh air to let my creativity run free. Every now and then I even take breaks from photographing the finished dishes, because the goal most days is just to experiment.

Plus, the KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder Attachment was incredibly easy to use, which made experimenting more fun. Most of the time for this recipe is in prepping the duck meat, chilling in between steps, and then cooking the patties. The chilling step is key for meat prep and you can pre-chill the attachment to help, which also means you get a clean grind. The actual grinding process took a few minutes and both setup and cleanup was a breeze. Storage is built into the box for all of the parts, which is also a blessing.

Listen, I try a ton of new kitchen appliances throughout the year and some are so complicated to figure out that they steal my joy a little bit! That was not the case at all today, so I can confidently say I’ll be coming up with new ways to incorporate the food grinder into my recipes. Besides meat, it will also grind ingredients like veggies, cheese, and breadcrumbs, which means I can get creative with it and control what goes into my food.

The recipe for the duck sliders I came up with today is below. If you can’t get your hands on duck, or just want to stretch your duck meat a bit, you could incorporate some turkey or chicken thighs into the mix. It’s yours for the making!

Here's a quick video demonstration of the recipe process! 

Duck Sausage Sliders with the KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder

Ingredients, to make the duck sausage:

2 lbs fresh duck parts, mix of thighs and breasts
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1/2 cup ice cold water

Ingredients, to assemble the sliders:

8 oz Raclette, or similar mild melting cheese (like Fontina) 
12 slider rolls
Olive oil or melted butter, as needed
6 oz prepared fig jam
2 cups baby arugula

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 12 sliders
Special Equipment: KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder Attachment, large heavy bottomed skillet

Pull the skin off the duck parts; reserve. Use a sharp knife or poultry shears to debone the meat. (Freeze the bones for future stock!) Chop the deboned duck meat into one inch cubes. Pile up the skin and fat until you have about half a cup, chop that up into one inch pieces as well. Toss the duck meat and fatty bits together, then transfer to a plastic zip back or freezer safe bowl.

Chill the chopped meat in the freezer for thirty minutes before grinding. You can also put the metal parts for the KitchenAid® Metal Food Grinder Attachment in the freezer. When everything is cold, it’ll be easier to grind, especially since duck meat gets very soft when it warms to room temperature.

Attach the food grinder with the coarse grinding plate to your stand mixer. Position a mixer bowl or sheet pan under the attachment.

Turn the stand mixer to speed 4. Working in batches, slowly feed chilled chopped duck into the hopper using the food pusher.

Season ground duck meat with salt, sage, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes, tossing lightly to distribute the spices. Form the meat into evenly shaped patties, about one inch thick and slightly larger than the diameter of the slider buns. It helps to keep your hands wet with iced water as you shape the patties.

Arrange the patties on a parchment lined sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes to firm the fat back up. The sausage should be cooked within a day, otherwise it’s best to freeze it.

When you’re ready to prepare sliders, preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat. There’s no need to grease the pan because plenty of duck fat will render out. Once hot, arrange the patties around the pan without crowding. You will probably need to cook these in batches.

Cook for about four minutes on the first side, or until nicely crusted. Flip the patties over and cook for another minute, then top with shredded cheese. Cover the pan loosely with foil to help the cheese melt faster.

Cook the sausage until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the center of each patty reads 160°F. (The temperature will continue to climb a few degrees after removing from the pan, so it should finish at 165°F.) Transfer cooked patties to a clean pan as they’re ready.

Meanwhile, brush the top and bottom slider buns with olive oil or melted butter. Arrange on a sheet pan and toast under the oven broiler for just a minute or two, until golden. (Don’t walk away and forget, like I often do, because you’ll definitely have burnt buns!)

To assemble the sliders, place a cooked patty with cheese on each bottom slider bun.

Top with a generous dollop of fig jam, and then arugula. Place the tops on the buns and serve immediately!

Note: I used a good quality prepared fig jam to save time today, which you can usually find near the cheese counter. When you’ve got a whole dinner party menu to execute, a nice specialty condiment makes for one less thing to worry about. If I’d thought of the idea earlier in the week I probably would have taken a stab at making my own jam, but I wouldn’t stress that part.

I’m not going to tell you how many of these I ate myself, but I can confirm they were worth my time in the kitchen today! I’d describe the texture of the patty as a cross between sage pork breakfast sausage and a really good turkey burger. Now that I know how efficiently the grinder processed the chopped skin and fat, I think I could have probably gotten away with adding much more to the mix. Excited to test it that way next time, and maybe even give the sausage stuffer tools a spin. The fig jam was a really nice touch, with just the right amount of sweetness. Even though fresh figs are coming into season now, the duck sliders also gave me holiday vibes, so I think this is one I’ll be coming back to for the months ahead!

You Might Also Like