Thyme substitute for chicken dishes
The thyme herb is widely used when cooking European, French and Mediterranean chicken dishes. The small and tender leaves of thyme are used as flavoring agents and seasoning in a variety of chicken recipes.
It balances the flavors well in chicken marinades, sauces, stews and stocks. Although the minty, pungent and unique thyme flavor that complements chicken dishes cannot be fully replaced, there are other suitable herbs that have a similar flavor.
If a chicken recipe calls for thyme but such is not available, the following substitutes can be used instead.
In chicken, meat and pork dishes, as well as creamy chicken sauces and chicken soups in which 1 teaspoon of thyme is required, the herb can be replaced with half teaspoon of sage. Sage has a bitter and minty flavor that will complement chicken meat, but should be added sparingly because of its strong flavor.
Another substitute for a similar amount as above is 1 teaspoon of tarragon. This herb not only works best in chicken dishes, but also fish dishes. Like thyme, its flavor also tends to be mild, which similarly makes it barely noticeable.
In chicken salads and tomato-based recipes like lasagna, sauces, spaghetti, etc. also containing chicken, 3/4 teaspoons of basil can be used as a substitute. The flavor of basil tends to be a bit stronger so it should be accordingly.
When cooking the chicken dishes listed above, 3/4 teaspoons of oregano can also be used, although its flavor also tends to be stronger, which should be taken into consideration. The taste of chicken and potato recipes can be enhanced by using oregano along with rosemary in equal amounts.
Using 3/4 teaspoons of rosemary will work best in chicken recipes, salad dressing and soups, etc., along with similar recipes prepared with lamb and pork. It must be kept in mind that the flavor of rosemary tends to be a bit dominating, so it should be added sparingly.
All of the these herbs are good thyme substitutes because of their mild flavor, though some may taste kind of bold as well. Therefore, when cooking chicken dishes, substituting other herbs for thyme is all about trial and error. As such, beginning substitution with half that specific chicken recipe amount is the wise thing to do. The individual flavors of each herb need to be understood in order to substitute better. After all, one’s taste preference determines the quantity of substitution.