Please tell me I’m not alone in finding wilting, slightly mushy, fresh poultry herbs wedged in the bottom of the refrigerator. Herbs can come in such large portions it can be challenging to use them all up within the week. Luckily, I’ve found a solution that’s easy on the wallet and nets you the best herbs for cooking poultry (chicken, turkey, etc…), potatoes and other delectable recipes.
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The classic poultry herb is sage. Sage is a regular guest in my house when we’re cooking chicken, turkey and of course, the stuffing. Personally I like to use a mix of herbs – especially when I’m roasting. The best fresh herbs I’ve found for poultry are:
Personally, I think you want this kind of poultry seasoning fresh, not dried. Dried herbs lose their flavour really quickly. You have no idea how long they’ve been sitting on that supermarket shelf. Because of this, you’ll want to buy dried herbs in the smallest quantities you can, replacing often for maximum flavour.
Salt and pepper are spices, not herbs so I have’t included them, but of course I sprinkle both on all my poultry dishes. And if you’re up for it, garlic goes well with poultry, too.
Have you ever seen this Poultry Blend packet in your grocery store? The next time you do, pick it up. Poultry blend is my secret weapon for both busy weeknight cooking and when I’ve got the time to do fancier meals.
I used to buy those big bunches of herbs. For poultry, I’d pick up rosemary, sage and the rest of the usual suspects. For tomatoes salads and pasta, I’d nab basil. For Mexican, I’d grab a bunch of cilantro. And always parsley. For almost everything.
These poultry herbs all add such a hit of flavour to so many recipes. And because they’re so cheap, it’s hard not to pick them up. Trouble is, these herbs comes in bunches so large, I couldn’t possibly use them all up within a week.
But then I found these little pockets of poultry blend. These poultry herbs are your all-in-one solution to making mealtimes more interesting.
Comprised of sprigs of fresh parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage, this poultry herb blend is a lifesaver for any chicken, pork or Italian dish. In fact, I rarely leave the grocery store without snagging a pack. This week, these ingredients will be added to the roast chicken, risotto and soup that I plan (fingers crossed) on making.
Best herbs for chicken
Chicken is probably my favourite food. It’s so versatile when you tweak the seasonings. The very best herbs for chicken are sage and rosemary in my books. Sage is pretty strong, so you only need a little bit. Sage and butter are best buddies, so don’t forget to reacquaint them.
Rosemary is just so fragrant. Whenever I catch a whiff of it, I think it’s just heavenly. I love adding fresh rosemary to roast chicken and also throwing few springs into pan-friend potatoes. Like sage and butter are buddies, I think rosemary and lemon are perfect partners.
Tarragon is another fresh herb that’s divine with chicken. It’s used a lot in classic french cooking, but we North Americans don’t reach for it as much. I love tarragon with cream and also tomato-based sauces.
Now if you’re cooking Italian, basil of course works, too. The great thing about poultry is that is so mild, it can handle these pungent herbs.
If I’m roasting a turkey, my standbys are: sage, thyme and rosemary. I chop up these herbs and mix them with softened unsalted butter. They I separate the skin from the body of the turkey and spread that herby butter mixture underneath the skin. Anything that’s leftover I’ll smother on top of the turkey skin – along with salt and pepper.
How to use up leftover poultry herbs
I do a few things with leftover poultry herbs. Usually I’ll thrown them in the freezer with the bones I’ve saved for stock. If I’m more ambitious, I’ll make a compound butter, infuse the herbs in vinegar (white) or olive oil, or I’ll mash them up a little and make a savoury cocktail out of them. (Rosemary raspberry goes quite nicely with vodka.)
What herbs or refrigerator staples can’t you live without?