Chicken base is often used in soups, stews and sauces. So what is chicken base and how to make it? Keep reading to find out.
If you’ve just started cooking or you haven’t cooked a day in your life, you probably think cooking is just a matter of heating up a pan, throwing in the ingredients and waiting until the food is “done”.
While that’s something we’ve all believed at some point in our lives, and while it’s a technique that certainly works for thousands of people around the world, there’s much more to cooking than just choosing the right ingredients.
It is said that the secret to a delicious dish is how you cook it and the how is heavily on what you use to enhance and combine the flavors of a dish’ main ingredients.
One of the things most commonly used for this purpose?
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What Is Chicken Stock?
Chicken stock, also known as chicken broth, is a liquid made out of chicken, vegetables and seasonings. It serves as the base for many recipes and it can be both purchased or homemade.
There’s not a single recipe for chicken broth, which is why a dish as simple as chicken soup can taste widely different when prepared by two different people.
Ever heard of “Grandma’s recipe” or “Family recipe”? Well, the secret to these famed recipes is usually the stock.
What Does That Has to Do with Chicken Base?
Long story short, chicken base is a highly concentrated form of stock that’s used in stews, sauces, casseroles and even skillet recipes.
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What Are the Differences Between Chicken Base and Chicken Stock?
Other than their presentation, there’s a number of differences between these two:
- Chicken base takes longer to make than chicken stock but has a much stronger flavor. This means you’ll be able to use less of it and will last you for longer.
- Chicken base tends to be noticeable darker and thicker than broth.
- Chicken base is better used in sauces, stews and creamy soups, whereas chicken broth is better for soups.
Is Chicken Base Sold in Powdered Form?
You’re probably thinking about those powdery little cubes found in supermarkets.
Those are actually called “chicken bouillon” and they’re essentially concentrated and dehydrated chicken stock, though you can find them in beef flavor as well.
While convenient, as you can just dissolve them into boiling liquid when you’re cooking, they tend to be extremely salty which can not only alter the taste of your recipe but can also be damaging to your health.
We’re not going to badmouth chicken bouillon, as it can really help you when you’re in a hurry but if you plan on using it do try to buy the low-sodium variety.
It’s better for you.
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What Is Chicken Base Used For?
As we mentioned before, chicken base can be used in a variety of dishes in order to give them an even more delicious flavor.
To show you just how versatile chicken base can be, here’s a list of dishes that use this concoction:
- Chicken Gravy
- Chicken Chowder
- Potato Soup
- Chicken Curry
- Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Alfredo
And so on.
In general, you’ll find that most ‘chunky’ or thick recipes that involve chicken will often require a chicken base to really bring out the flavors.
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How To Make Chicken Base At Home
Can I make chicken base at home?
Yes, you can!
In fact, making chicken base at home is the best way to give your recipes your own, special “touch”.
Best of all? Making your own chicken base is actually quite simple so we’ll include a really brief recipe for you to follow:
- Choose the ingredients you’ll use. The exact combination is up to you, but the main ingredients are: Chicken, onions, garlic, celery and carrots.
- Wash and chop before placing them in a large pan. The chicken should go in whole.
- Bring everything to a boil and add the spices of your preference. Popular spices used for this kind of thing are salt, pepper, parsley and basil, but the exact combination is also up to you so use the things you like!
- Once everything is boiling, reduce the heat until it’s simmering and stir every now and then.
- Remove the chicken once it’s done (check every time you stir your mix) and remove skin, fat and bones. If you want a heartier stock, chop the chicken meat into cubes and put them back in.
- Grab your laptop, phone, book or anything that will keep you entertained and sit near your kitchen. Why? Because you’ll have to wait. You’ll have to wait at least a few hours so get comfortable!
- Check on the base every now and then. Once you see it reduce to about one third of its original size (once the pot is only 1/3 full compared to how it was at the start) then take it out of the heat and let it cool in the fridge. (Don’t stick the pot directly in the fridge, transfer the base to a fridge safe container and then cool that)
- Wait until the fat is separated from the stock, then remove it with the help of a spoon.
- Using a strainer, separate any bones, skin, pieces of vegetable or spices still caught in the base.
- Freeze the base for later use or use it in whatever you’re cooking.
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- Freezing your base in ice trays will help you ration your base more easily. This way you can just pop a cube or two!
- Frozen chicken base will last for about three months.
- Avoid freezing and unfreezing chicken base as this will promote bacterial growth.
With this recipe and these tips, you’ll be able to make your own chicken base in no time so you can use it to improve the taste of even the most basic recipes so go ahead and try it out!
Chicken base really is a wonderful substitute for broth and bouillon, but if you do not have the time or patience to make your own, I highly recommend Minor's. It's a useful tool for you to make chicken base.
Thank you for reading!
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