Poultry loves herbs so I make up a batch of my Simon & Garfunkel spice blend, store it for months, and sprinkle it on everything in sight. It goes on chicken, turkey, grilled potatoes, even on the outside of baked potatoes, grilled asparagus, on eggs, even pork, you name it. How’d it get its name? In 1966 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel popularized their modified version of a haunting 16th century English canticle on their album named “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” The name comes from the song “Scarborough Fair” and the tale of a young man seeking love. We do not know if he knew much about women (we think not), but he clearly knew something about cooking. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are said to represent bitterness, strength, faithfulness, and courage, and they also make a pretty good all purpose BBQ rub (click here for my recipe for Simon & Garfunkel Chicken).
As background for this recipe, please read my article on the Science of Rubs.
Since there is no salt in this recipe, (click here to read why our rub recipes do not have salt), salting the meat first is a must. This process is called dry brining. Salt will penetrate deep into meat so you should get it on in advance, perhaps overnight. The rest of the spices and herbs cannot penetrate very deep, so the rub can go on anytime, even just before you start cooking. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt per pound (453.6 grams) of meat (don’t include bone, and ribs are about half bone).
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Makes:About 2/3 cup (634.1 ml)
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried crushed sage
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed basil
- 10 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
About the salt. Remember, Morton’s coarse kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Measuring. Measuring the ingredients is a bit tricky since some of the herb leaves may be powdered, not crushed. The big chunks, like oregano, have more air in them, so try to compensate by adding more or less depending on how much air in your raw materials. If your measurements are not precise or if you lack one or two ingredients, no wars will break out, but I think the sage, bay leaf, and rosemary are essential. Crushed bay leaf may be hard to find so you can use whole bay leaves. Just take about 10 leaves and crumble them in your hand, measure the crumbled amount and add more if necessary. The pepper will add a little heat, but not much, but you can cut it out if you’re a wimp or amp it up if you’re a tough guy.
Optional. At one time I had included 1 tablespoon dried crushed hot red pepper (cayenne or chipotle) in this recipe. I have removed it because I decided I like the recipe better without the heat. If you want a capsaicin jolt, go for it.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Measure everything and dump it into a blender; see "Measuring" note about the bay leaves. Put the lid on the blender (very important), and run it on medium for a few seconds, turn it off, and run it again. Continue pulsing about until you have a powder. Dump the whole thing in a jar and label it.
- How to use this stuff. If the food has not been been brined, then sprinkle with salt, ½ teaspoon per pound. If it has been brined, then skip the salt. Lightly coat your chicken or potatoes or asparagus or whatever with water (the ingredients dissolve better in water than oil), sprinkle on the rub liberally, even if you are a conservative. If time permits, let the seasoned meat sit in the fridge for an hour or three.
- Grill, smoke, or roast.