No kitchen should be without the heady, aromatic flavour of thyme. There are many different varieties, both cultivated and wild, with flavours of mint, caraway, lemon, and stronger varieties that taste more akin to oregano.
Thyme is best when fresh but you can buy it freeze-dried.
The intensely pungent flavour complements most meats, including chicken and game. Its robust nature means that it can withstand long cooking times and it is a good complement to slow-cooked dishes such as stews and daubes. It is one of the herbs used in bouquet garni, along with parsley and bay. Its flavour also marries well with other robust and heady herbs such as rosemary and sage. Chop it up in stuffings for poultry or lamb or use it chopped in a marinade for olives. Add sprigs to marinades for meat, fish or vegetables or tuck a few sprigs with half a lemon and an onion inside a chicken before roasting.