From the Spice Cupboard: Poultry Seasoning

No matter where I am or what time of year it is, one whiff of poultry seasoning instantly transports me to Thanksgiving morning with my mom and Grandma. This herb-based blend is a classic this time of year, but you don't have to limit its use to Thanksgiving, or to poultry.

Read on for a basic recipe, some good store-bought brands, and ways to use it.

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The basic ingredients in poultry seasoning are dried sage and thyme, which give the blend an aromatic, woodsy flavor. Other common additions include marjoram, rosemary, and black and white pepper, and we have encountered blends with savory, oregano, parsley, dried onion and garlic, celery flakes or seeds, lemon peel, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, bell pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Though frequently used to season turkey, chicken, and stuffing, poultry seasoning may also be used to flavor meat or veggie burgers, pot pies, soups, and more. When we're short on time, we find that a dash of poultry seasoning is a great way to add a lot of flavor to tofu marinades and vegetable soups. Do you have any favorite uses for poultry seasoning?

Good commercial blends include Bell's Seasoning (a New England classic invented in 1867), Penzeys, and Frontier. It's also easy to make your own and fun to experiment with different additions. Here's a basic recipe to get you started:

Poultry Seasoning (Basic Recipe)
Makes 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon ground sage
1 tablespoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon ground marjoram
1 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed celery seed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Related: From the Spice Cupboard: Chinese Five-Spice Powder

(Image: Emily Ho)