What is chicken base? For most of us who love cooking, we appreciate the tastiness that chicken gives our soups and dishes. But, what is a chicken base?

To give you a brief idea on the matter, it is a heavily concentrated stock, which is simmered for a longer time to bring out a fuller, richer flavor other than what we could get for rushing the cooking process. And to make it healthier, vegetables are allowed to melt into it until they achieved reduction.

Filling up our homes with a vibrant, mouthwatering aroma, chicken base is a delight on the table. It always brings that added life to any dish. And now, there are commercial varieties—usually in the form of cubes, powders or a thick liquid.

But for home cooks like us who do not want added salt or sodium, we would rather make it ourselves than to buy commercially made products on the market. If you cannot help but buy a readymade chicken base in the grocery, you may want to check the label to learn about the amount of each ingredient included in the packaged product.

In the process, we’d also be able to learn about the amount of fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol content in the item as compared with other items. But then if you have a little extra time to spare, you don’t have to settle with a readymade chicken base or cubes.

Now, why the homemade chicken base is better than bouillon cubes or powders?

Chicken base comes with a rich, deep taste (a taste of love). It is highly concentrated—that you can use it in casseroles, sauces, soups and stews, as compared to powders and cubes, which flavors you don’t only know but also the ingredients you do not have a control over.

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But, is it better than chicken stock?

Yes, it is for the simple reason that it’s cooked longer than a stock. In this case, you can look forward to a richer flavor that you won’t be able get in chicken stock. And since it is cooked longer, you can expect the richer texture and more delicious taste, just like roasted beef cooked in a pellet grill than on traditional charcoal.

To distinguish chicken base from stock, you will notice their difference in color and consistency. A stock is pale and thinner, while base is darker like a broth and thicker inconsistency.

In what recipes can I use chicken base?

I recommend it when making skillet dinners in which meats are cut with a meat slicer, sauces, and stews, but stock can be used in making chowders, vegetable stews, chunky chickens and noodle soup.

But because meat base is more flavorful and thicker, I believe it offers us with more benefits than what chicken stock can offer us.

As a bonus, we can make use of chicken base for dumplings, heavy stews, cream of chicken soups and chowders. But that’s not all. We can also use it for potato chowder or soup, chicken and beef curries, cheeseburger chowder and some other Indian recipes.

But if I don’t have chicken base and I need it, what can be a substitute?

You can still benefit from the subtle, lovely taste of it with other alternatives, which could be as close to it. So, don’t fret! Its commercial varieties, although not as healthy, could be used in replacement.

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However, try to avoid them as much as possible if time permits that you cook your chicken base.

So for an alternative, use chicken stock or bouillon cubes and still come out cooking a delicious stew for your family.

The general rule of thumb is that you need a cup of water for every bouillon cube you’re using for an approximately one cup of broth to produce. Also, remember that every recipe is different, so you may want to take note on how many cups of broth to use.

Use this idea. Every teaspoon of chicken base is equal to one bouillon cube, or every cup of water plus one bouillon cube is equal to normal chicken broth.

So for many recipes, you should know that a teaspoon of base and a cup of water make a standard soup. That being said, you can replace a teaspoon of base for a bouillon.

But then if you are using packaged stock, just use a cup of it, and then multiply the amount based on the recipe you are making for that proper ratio.

Or if you’re using a base for flavoring, not as an additional liquid for making a broth, just use a piece of bouillon for one teaspoon of the chicken base, according to what is called in the dish. But then remember not to use liquid broth or stock for such recipes; otherwise, they’d be watered down.

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About the Author

Austin Sims

Currently Executive Chef at famous NY restaurant, Austin began his tenure with as Chef de Partie. He has over eight years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Austin is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.

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