What Is Chicken Base? The chicken base is among the essential considerations in a series of dishes – from simple chicken soups to more sophisticated skillet meals. It belongs to the same category with stock and bouillon, so people use all these alternatives interchangeably.
In the end, the overall effect is similar – a better taste with less effort. Plenty of cooks are confused about the differences though. Plus, the actual chicken base seems to be tastier than other substitutes, not to mention achieving that special homemade aroma. So, what is chicken base and what makes it the best choice?
What is chicken base? Understanding what it actually is
In simple words, chicken base is nothing but stock. It’s different from the basic stock you can find in every grocery store because it’s way more concentrated. It’s used for pretty much everything, such as casseroles, sauces or stews. It’s normally available in two different forms – small cubes and powder. When you get it in cubes, you’ll usually have to use one cube per meal. Furthermore, you can make your own chicken base and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
What’s the difference between chicken base and stock? Easy! The base requires more time to make. But good things take time, so the taste will also be richer. You can find chicken base in commerce.
If you want to make your own, use the main ingredients needed for a stock – a whole chicken, some vegetables (usually just garlic, celery, carrots, and onion), water and seasoning (salt and pepper). Mix them in and let them simmer for a couple of hours. You can use the mix immediately or store it in the freezer, but not before straining.
What makes chicken base better than other substitutes
When undecided, most cooks ask themselves – what is chicken base? Knowing the answer will inevitably unveil its advantages as well.
Chicken base is simmered way longer than actual stock, so the flavors have plenty of time to blend and mix, while the taste is obviously richer. You can tell by looking at it too. The rich taste makes chicken base slightly darker and thicker. Stock is quite pale and watery.
Given its thick nature, chicken base is a primary option in skillet meals and sauces. It’s not limited to solid meals only since you can also come up with a chicken flavored vegetable stew, as well as a classic noodle soup. Its versatility goes a long way due to the extra flavor. Plus, you don’t even have to use too much of it for a great taste.
Some of the most common recipes based on chicken base include chicken gravy, chowders, and casseroles. It can be used in beef-based meals too.
In the end, the differences between chicken base and other alternatives are subtle, but they tend to become obvious in the final dish. Each of them can be used in specific recipes, except for the base, which can be used for pretty much everything. Making your own base is clearly better and more cost-efficient than buying it, yet it takes time.
See also: The Ideal Tomato Puree Substitute