Growing Herbs To Cook With Poultry
Do you have your garden all planned for the coming spring? Does it include an herb garden? Have you never gardened but maybe wanted to but felt like vegetable gardening was too much? Now may be the time to consider adding an herb garden.
First, decide what you want. Would you like just a handful of herbs on the patio’s edge that are readily available to compliment your grilling? Maybe you want to really up the bounty and have fresh herbs all summer long with enough to put up dried herbs to get you through to next year. Let’s jump in and go over the flavor profiles first so you can narrow down your needs and wants. We’ll use chicken entrees as an example for selecting your plants.
There are three herbs that stand out for cooking with chicken specifically; thyme, rosemary, and oregano. These are all foundational herbs in the garden and, for that matter, in the spice rack too. Not to be limited by them but to expand upon them. Each herb is enough on their own, but maybe you’re new to gardening or new to cooking or just want to change the palette up a bit. These 3 are great building blocks. Each of them is a perennial and will come back in your garden year after year.
Thyme is from the mint family of herbs. While it isn’t as aromatic as other herbs, it does have a strong flavor profile. If your homemade chicken noodle soup has been missing something, it’s probably thyme. Dry or fresh, thyme offers a more complex flavor and works well with other, more fragrant herbs. Consider adding a fresh sprig to dishes or grilling right from the garden.
Rosemary and chicken seem perfectly paired. Aromatic and earthy, it’s a stand-alone herb. Start adding in the salt, freshly ground pepper, and garlic, and you’re nearly done preparing rosemary chicken dinner.
Oregano is another from the mint family. As such, it pairs well with mints and citrus. Add oregano to oil and lemon juice, and you might be getting a little hungry just reading this right now.
Consider Adding These Herbs Too
Chives is another perennial and an easy grower. It’s always nice to have a clump nearby especially if you’ve run out of onions. Be aware though that chives are quite hardy and will spread if given the opportunity. Placing it in a sizeable container and then planting the container in your herb garden can inhibit some spread.
Basil is an annual and will need to be replanted each year. Yearly planting is readily offset by an abundant harvest that will provide all year long through drying, freezing, and pesto. Hang bunches of basil to dry or pack leaves in oil for pesto or for freezing.
Sage is yet another perennial and can stay outdoors in zone 5 or higher. In cooler climates, it may need some heavy mulching or can be moved to a pot and brought into the kitchen. Sage pairs will with lemon and pepper, making for a more flavorful protein profile.
Parsley is biennial so one would want to treat it like an annual and replant it every spring. Relying on the dropped seeds from the previous year can be risky. Parsley is a popular garnish since it’s not particularly aromatic and has subtle flavoring. But it does have a lot of color and can jazz up a plate of chicken and pasta quickly.
Now that you have all of your herbs picked out, make sure to place them somewhere that will provide you with years of cooking enjoyment. Most herbs, perennial or annual, will prefer full sun so keep this in mind when selecting your herb garden location. Give the perennials ample space for optimal future growth. In the emply spaces between your perennials this year, you can nestle in the annuals. Finally, consider placing the little potager near your outdoor grilling space or near the kitchen door so that harvesting is readily available to you for your cooking needs.
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