More often than not, chicken base, chicken stock, and chicken bouillon are used interchangeably. This article will set out to explain the question, what is chicken base, and clear the confusion that surrounds these three. To achieve those delicious, mouthwatering dishes, chicken bases, stocks, and bouillon comprise a vital part of the ingredients that make up these meals. Being able to distinguish them from one another is a great way to bring out the best in your dishes.
Chicken base takes a longer time to prepare as compared to chicken stock and this reflects in its rich taste and darker color. The vegetables eventually melt into the liquid due to the extended heating period. Therefore, when done, it normally appears like a paste. The basic ingredients used in making chicken stock are also used to make the base. These include onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, water, pepper and of course, whole chicken. Fresh herbs and seasoning such as rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, etc., are also great for enhancing the flavor. Some chicken bases also contain soy, milk, and sugar.
Due to its thick concentration, it is suitable for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and sauces. Home made chicken bases, stocks and bouillons are more economical and have less sodium content. Another great plus is that you are in charge of the preparation, cooking and storage process so you are assured of the safety of your family.
Table of Contents
Homemade Chicken Base
When making the base at home, you will need;
• Bay Leaves
• A whole Chicken
• A large stock pot
Procedure for home made Chicken Base.
• Simply start out by boiling some water in a large stock pot as you prepare the vegetables. This is the chicken stock. As you wait for the water to boil, chop up your vegetables.
• Once the water starts boiling, add your vegetables, herbs, whole chicken, and preferred spices and seasoning. Cover the stockpot.
• Let all the ingredients simmer for some time until the stock reduces to about two thirds in the stock pot. Stir the water from time to time to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom and sides of the stock pot.
• Remove your chicken after some time and let the stock continue simmering. This may take several hours.
• Once your base is ready, remove from the heat. Debone your chicken and add some pieces of chicken meat to the base.
• Store the chicken base in the refrigerator and let it cool. Once the fat begins to separate from the mixture, take it out from the refrigerator.
• Go ahead and remove the top layer of fat from the base and strain the remaining mixture using a cheesecloth.
• Another option is to let the fat layer, for both chicken stocks and bases, remain. This enables it to act as a protective layer from bacteria found in the air. It also ensures longevity.
• The chicken base should be packed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to three months. This ensures the flavors are sealed in.
If you opt to keep the fat without separating it from the stock or base, just lift up the fat and take out your stock or base. After some days, you may heat it up and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then bring it to cool. This will form yet another protective layer of fat.
If you prefer to buy your chicken base instead, you will find it in the grocery store, mostly next to the chicken bouillon cubes. It is available in powder or in cube form. It may seem pretty obvious but a general rule when purchasing chicken bases should be to have the chicken on the top list of the ingredients.
Amazon’s Minor’s chicken base is a favorite for everyone. It is made of 100% natural ingredients with no artificial flavorings. This makes it such a healthy alternative for those who prefer to buy it for one reason or the other. There are also a couple of others worth mentioning here. Anne’s Chicken Base and Watkins. Be sure to include your own if you have a preference in the comments below so we can add them here.
What is Chicken Stock?
Chicken stock consists of vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, whole chicken and seasonings like kosher salt, fresh garlic, and fresh ground black pepper. A distinct characteristic is that chicken stock also includes the bones as part of the ingredients. This greatly enriches the flavor because of the collagen, iron and vitamin-rich marrow found in the bones. So next time, don’t let those bones go to waste. The leftover bones and skins used can either be from cooked or raw chicken.
Another alternative option is to use raw chicken backs, wings or legs, along with vegetables and your desired herbs and seasonings.
It is best used for making dishes like chicken noodle soup, chowders, and vegetable stews. You can also strain the stock so just the liquid remains. If you feel like the liquid is too thin, don’t worry much about it. The flavor and nutrients present are what’s important and chicken stock is rich in both of these. Here is how you can make your own homemade chicken stock.
What is Chicken Bouillon?
Chicken bouillon is chicken stock that has been dehydrated into cube form. In some places, they are referred to as stock cubes. They are used to flavor boiling stews and soup. Beef bouillons are also available. It is recommended that you purchase those with low sodium concentration especially those on a salt-restricted diet.
It is also quite simple to prepare homemade chicken bouillon.
Chicken Base vs. Chicken Stock
The general differences are chicken base cooks for a longer time than chicken stock which makes it thicker in consistency. Chicken base also has a deeper color than chicken stock.
These make chicken bases suitable for a variety of both chicken and non-chicken dishes. One can describe chicken base as a more concentrated, richer taste and extra fragrance version of chicken stock. While chicken base mostly exists in form of a paste, chicken stock is in liquid form.
This is not to say that chicken base is not found in other forms such as cubes or in powder form.
Don’t fret if you do not have chicken base at your disposal. Chicken stocks and bouillons are used in its place all the time. The outcome of any of these options will still be a delicious and nutritious meal for you and your family.
The video below shows you from start to finish how to make your owne Chicken Base. Enjoy.
We hope this has answered the question as to, What is chicken base for you.
Do you make your own Chicken base, stock or bouillon. Give us a shout and tell us about it!
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