The best herbs for chicken

Sometimes the mild taste of chicken needs a little help to titillate your taste buds, and that’s where herbs come in.

Fresh herbs have the strongest flavour, but if you prefer dried herbs for their convenience, that’s fine too. Many herbs are suitable for chicken in high-volume catering recipes.


The woody taste and somewhat bitter aroma of sage blend well with the neutral flavour of chicken. Try sage in stuffing for a whole roasted chicken or for stuffed chicken breasts.


Thyme is pungent and slightly minty. It can overpower other ingredients but enhances chicken casseroles and pot pies. Use thyme in chicken gumbo and other Cajun recipes.


Parsley brings out the flavours of other ingredients without dominating. Add parsley for a delectable chicken soup and cold chicken salads. Hot chicken dishes also benefit from parsley.


Coriander is delicious in chicken tacos, chicken nachos and chicken tortilla soup. Add coriander to marinade and to sweet or savoury chutneys to top baked or grilled chicken.


Tarragon is pungent and can be overpowering, but fresh tarragon adds piquant flavour to a sauce for baked chicken and to stuffing for a whole roasted chicken.


Rosemary’s woody aroma and strong taste make it an excellent marinade component, especially for chicken breasts. Easily flavour a whole chicken by placing rosemary sprigs inside it before cooking.


A milder cousin to the more popular oregano, marjoram is a savoury herb that you can combine with other chicken-friendly herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.


With their mild onion flavour and delicate leaves, chives work well in almost any savoury dish. For the best results, add chives to chicken dishes just before serving.


Paprika’s hearty, peppery presence gives chicken a tang but no bite. An added bonus is that its rich colour improves the appearance of skinless chicken.


Use garlic to bring out the natural flavour of chicken. You can use garlic on its own in hot or cold chicken dishes, or you can pair it with other favourites.


The herbs described above are merely the highlights; many others work with chicken. For more oomph, combine herbs with hot peppers, citrus, fish sauce or hot, sweet ginger in chicken dishes. Not only is chicken a healthy choice, you can create an endless variety of exciting dishes with different herbs and flavours.

Cookery means … English thoroughness, French art, and Arabian hospitality; it means the knowledge of all fruits and herbs and balms and spices; it means carefulness, inventiveness, and watchfulness.

John Ruskin

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