Monday, 2 March 2009

Poultry Seasoning

In my recipes I often call for spices, ground. This is what I use. It's a granite mortar and pestle from Korea. I used to have an electric coffee grinder to do this, but it was a nuisance to clean and just didn't seem worth the effort for a teaspoon of this and a teaspoon of that. For a while, I had them both, but I got used to grinding bigger and bigger batches of spices in the mortar. Eventually I gave the coffee grinder away.

In general, it makes a huge difference in the quality of your spices to buy them whole in small quantities, to grind them only as needed, and to keep them stored in a dark cool place. Pepper, once ground, goes rancid very quickly but can be stored in the cupboard as long as it is unground. Celery seed goes rancid easily even before it is ground, and might be best kept well wrapped in the freezer.

This poultry seasoning is reminiscent of an old favourite - Bell's seasoning. Whenever we went to the U.S to visit relatives when I was a kid, we would stock up on Bell's. It wasn't available here. I don't know if it's still around or not. I'm pretty happy with this, although I miss the lovely old-fashioned box that it came in.

Enough for one chicken
5 minutes

Grinding Spices
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger

Put the first four ingredients in your mortar or grinder and grind finely. Add the remaining ingredients and grind again.

Use the poultry seasoning to season stuffing for chicken, or sprinkle on the skin of a whole chicken or chicken pieces to be roasted. In that case, I like to add a bit of paprika and a bit more salt as well.

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