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What Is Chicken Base? Facts Every Cook Needs To Know

Most chicken soup, stew, casserole, sauce and gravy recipes call for a chicken flavoring. Chicken base enhances the flavor of chicken dishes. Incidentally, so does chicken bouillon, broth and stock. I have cooked a good number of chicken dishes and each time a chicken base, bouillon, broth or stock is an ingredient.

Confusing though is the fact that some chicken dishes require a chicken base while some would require chicken broth, or stock or bouillon. I am pretty sure you too have the same observation. All of this chicken flavorings can be either home-made or bought in the supermarket.

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I was once watching a cooking show and the recipe called for chicken base. While it was mentioned that chicken stock, broth or bouillon could be used, the cook specifically said that chicken base brings out the best flavor of the chicken. My question now is, how is chicken base better than chicken stock, broth or bouillon?

What Is Chicken Base?

Chicken base is a chicken stock in a heavier concentration. It also takes much longer to make a chicken base than a chicken stock because the vegetables are allowed to dissolve into a liquid.

via www.betterthanbouillon.com

Chicken base has a dark color, thick consistency and rich flavor. You can make your own chicken base although commercial chicken base is readily available in paste, or powder form.

To make your own chicken base you will need whole chicken, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and of course water. These are the same ingredients you will also need to make chicken stock.

Toss all the ingredients into a stock pot and allow it to simmer for a few hours until the vegetables have been dissolved into a thick liquid. Strain and use or freeze for future use.

What Is Chicken Stock?

There seems to always be a lot of confusion between chicken stock and chicken broth. Although both are made with the same vegetables, chicken stock is usually made with the bones of the chicken while chicken broth is made more with the meaty parts.

Chicken stock has a richer flavor than chicken broth because when chicken bones are left to simmer for a long time, gelatin gets released. Gelatin in chicken stock offers a lot of health benefits and a lot of flavors, too!

If you want your chicken stock to gel, you need to add the right proportions of water and chicken bones. The amount of water should just be enough to cover chicken bones in the stock pot.

Since chicken stock is made from bones, it will have a deeper and richer flavor than chicken broth. Bones breaking down in the simmering process produces more flavor and will make the liquid gel when it gets cooled.

Although the commercial chicken stock is available in the market, the home-made chicken stock is more cost effective not to mention richer and deeper in flavor.

What Is Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth is chicken meat allowed to simmer with vegetables into a liquid. Chicken broth is often referred to as flavored chicken stock. To make chicken stock, boil chicken meat in water with carrots, celery, and herbs and allow the mixture to simmer.

Although chicken meat is the main ingredient in chicken broth, a few chicken bones can add to its flavor.

What Is Chicken Bouillon? 

Chicken bouillon is a chicken stock allowed to dehydrate and formed into a cube. Bouillon is a French term that means broth. Bouillon is a salty cube so it is best that you choose those that come with low salt content. Of all the commercially made chicken flavors, bouillon is the easiest to use.

To summarize things, chicken base is chicken stock simmered longer for a richer and thicker consistency. Chicken stock is chicken bones allowed to simmer. Chicken broth is the meaty part of the chicken allowed to simmer with vegetables. Chicken bouillon is dehydrated chicken stock formed into a cube.

Conclusion:

Back to my question: Why is chicken base better than chicken stock, broth or bouillon? Between chicken stock, broth and bouillon, I would say chicken stock brings out the best flavors of the chicken.

When boiled and simmered, chicken bones have richer flavors than chicken meat (broth). Well, chicken bouillon is simply chicken stock in another form, so I am narrowing down the comparison between chicken base and chicken stock.

There are a lot of arguments why chicken base is better than chicken stock. Here are some of them:

  • Chicken base is allowed to boil and simmer a lot longer than chicken stock therefore it has a richer flavor and a thicker consistency.
  • Chicken base appears darker than chicken stock. This is because chicken base is more concentrated than chicken stock.
  • Chicken base is best for stews, casseroles, gravy and sauces while chicken stock is best for soups and chowders. These makes chicken base more versatile since it can also be used for soups and chowders.

Whether home-made or bought from the supermarket, chicken stock, broth and bouillon are good substitutes for chicken base. Home-made is also far better than the ones that are commercially made. That is of course if you have the time.

If you have the time, it is best that you make chicken base. It takes only a few hours more to make than chicken stock but the difference in time will be well compensated by the richer flavor it will give to your chicken dishes. It always does to mine.

Do we share the same preference? Have you had better experiences with chicken base than chicken stock, broth or bouillon? Share with us some of your thoughts in the comments section. You may also want to share some of your secret chicken recipes.

References:

http://www.fooducate.com

http://www.thekitchn.com

Jenny Hopper
 

My name is Jenny Hopper, I'm a mother of two cute little kids. To tell you, blogging isn't an easy task. But for me, I feel rewarded for doing the things that I love and one is sharing my experiences with the world and with you. And I definitely welcome any helpful and sincere contribution from you.

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