Basil, touted as the "king of herbs", is a tender plant with an endless variety of aromas. Its fragrant, delightful leaves are the foundation of pesto. The diminutive thyme leaf, utilized by the ancients in their baths and incense, is now a work-horse herb which commonly enlivens meats, soups and stews. Herbs are so convenient in their dried form. However, nothing matches the flavoring power of fresh herbs.
Unfortunately, the fresh herb maintains a short shelf life. Fresh thyme cannot be expected to make it even a week in the refrigerator. You can savor the fresh flavor a little longer by blanching the herbs in hot water and then freezing them. I understand that basil freezes nicely once pureed. I'd love to hear about your experiences with frozen herbs.
Here is a recipe that was inspired from one found in the June 1995 issue of Gourmet. Thyme is given its rightful place as it enhances this easy chicken entree.
Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
12-15 chicken breasts halved
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Chardonnay or similar white wine
3 tbl. freshly ground pepper
3 tsp garlic
3 tbl. fresh thyme
Whisk all ingredients together in large bowl. Place chicken breasts in large baking dish. Pour blended ingredients over chicken. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes, forking occasionally. Grill on medium heat for about 4-6 minutes per side. Do not over cook as the chicken will dry out. . Serves 8-10.
"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred." - Prov. 15:17