Poultry Seasoning is a versatile seasoning blend that’s predominantly used on chicken or turkey. It is also known as chicken seasoning, stuffing seasoning, chicken rub, or poultry spice.
What is Poultry Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning is an herbal seasoning blend that brings woodsy, peppery, fragrant flavors to chicken, turkey, and other lighter meats.
Salt-free Poultry Seasoning is packed with herbaceous appeal. We updated this classic American seasoning blend with the freshest ingredients available so our customers can season their chickens or turkeys with confidence.
The Story Behind Poultry Seasoning
Poultry seasoning is an American creation and, quite probably, the oldest commercial seasoning blend in the United States. It came into being in the Boston area in 1867, just four years after Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. William G. Bell, a resident of the Boston suburb of Newton, MA, created poultry seasoning. Credited as an “inventor and cook,” Bell also developed a sausage seasoning and a pork seasoning during his time in the kitchen, but his poultry blend was the star in his lineup.
During the latter part of the 19th century—when Bell was hard at work in his kitchen—chicken and turkey were considered to be delicacies. Large-scale chicken farming wasn’t practiced until the 1920s, and only after that did breeding for white meat become an objective. Until then, chicken and turkey were comparatively small and gamy, with thinner breasts and more dark meat. It was an “occasion” food, relegated to Sunday dinners and holiday meals. Posh folks of that era would serve chicken salad at banquets, as a display of wealth that showed they could afford to spread that kind of meat out among their friends. This saw the rise of the Waldorf Salad; the first iteration of this dish involved chicken, mayonnaise, apples, It was also a sneaky way of being frugal, since anything edible from the chicken could be chopped into the salad.
With poultry considered a luxury meat, home cooks wanted to highlight the flavor of their birds any way they could. Since poultry wasn’t on the regular menu for most people at the time, they also wanted something that was reliably good and would not overwhelm a special dinner that they were unused to cooking. The door was wide-open for poultry seasoning to become a standard product in an American kitchen, and it helped that these blends also helped make the attendant side dishes, like stuffing, just as flavorful and delicious as the birds.
Chicken and turkey have undergone significant changes since poultry-specific seasoning has been invented. Chickens have doubled in size, and the average turkey has doubled in size since 1960, never mind how big they were in 1867. They’ve been bred to offer generous amounts of lean white meat, with most of the gaminess worked out of them. Seasoning blends, however, have not changed. The mild white meat, now a selling point for health-conscious eaters, needs something to give it flavorful impact that will still accentuate the darker meat of the thighs and drumsticks. Poultry seasoning’s broad appeal works on the entirety of a bird, creating a flavor profile that’s hearty and herbaceous, and sure to please a hungry crowd at dinner.
Is Chicken Seasoning the Same as Poultry Seasoning
Yes, Poultry Seasoning and Chicken Seasoning, the herbaceous blends that are designed to add to poultry before roasting, are the same thing. There is one notable thing to watch out for, though. Chicken seasoning should not be confused with chicken flavoring. Chicken flavoring is also known as bouillon, and can be found in dried powder or pressed into bricks. Bouillon is made from chicken, some aromatics, and stabilizers, and was developed to create a chicken broth by adding it to hot water, or to add “chicken-y” flavor to various dishes.
What Does Poultry Seasoning Taste Like
Poultry Seasoning is gloriously fragrant and greets you with the citrusy and velvety smell of thyme and sage. Gentle marjoram comes forward at first bite with its playful bitterness, followed by the piney flavor of rosemary and the minty, lemony boost of thyme. Earthy sage rounds out the bottom notes, and it’s all held together with the pleasantly bitter pepper of oregano.
How Do You Use Poultry Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning was made to be used on Classic Roast Turkey, so mix some seasoning into a Compound Butter and slip it under the turkey (or chicken) skin to baste the bird, deliciously. Stir this into a stuffing or a savory bread pudding for a festive side dish, or add to stuffed mushrooms or creamed onions. Season a Pennsylvania-Dutch Chicken Pot Pie with a light sprinkle of Poultry Seasoning. It’s great with grains, so stir into some rice and enjoy a Turkey Sausage and Spinach Rice Bowl. Use when making a cozy pot of chicken noodle soup, rub some into pork chops, or toss over shrimp, cod, or grouper.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Poultry Seasoning
If you’re looking for alternatives to Poultry Seasoning, you can make a mix of your own sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and oregano. For gentle herbal flavor with a floral twist try Herbs de Provence. Mediterranean Dry Rub has a more powerful aromatic kick with great herbal high notes, and Citrus Seasoning delivers great, fruity flavor along with herbaceous depth.
|Ingredients||Thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, oregano|
|Also Called||Chicken seasoning, stuffing seasoning, chicken rub, or poultry spice|
|Recommended Uses||Use on roast chicken or turkey and stuffing. Also good on pork, fish, and shellfish.|
|Flavor Profile||Fragrant and peppery with gentle, mint and pine top notes and an earthy finish|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*