Chicken stock concentrate is a reduced and concentrated version of the broth left after cooking chicken. It adds that rich, flavorful kick to your dishes when incorporated. And it can be used in a variety of dishes ranging from soups and sauces to pasta and meat dishes.
This tasty liquid has been around for centuries and has its origin in Chinese medicine, which dates back over 2,500 years. Today, it’s an integral part of different cuisines around the world.
Perhaps you want to make a dish that requires chicken stock concentrate, but you don’t have it on hand. Are there any substitutes that could work just as well? This blog post highlights 8 suitable chicken stock concentrate substitutes that will add that rich flavor you’re looking for.
1. Chicken Stock
As the name implies, Chicken stock concentrate is merely concentrated chicken stock. Therefore, making chicken stock from scratch or purchasing a fresh broth from the supermarket would be an excellent substitute.
Both chicken stock concentrate and fresh chicken stock possess the same ingredients and flavors. Substituting one for the other would not be noticed in your dishes. However, chicken stock isn’t as thick as its concentrate counterpart. So, you shouldn’t add more water when cooking with it.
2. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock is a healthy substitute if you don’t want to use a concentrate or stock derived from meats. It is made by simmering herbs and vegetables in water to make a broth. Common ingredients include onions, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, bay leaves, thyme, curry, and more.
This healthy stock has a rich flavor and loads of nutrients. And is especially useful for vegetarian or vegan dishes. It doesn’t have that chicken flavor, but it will add immense flavor to your dish. It can be made from scratch or purchased from your local supermarket.
3. Bone Broth
Bone broth has been around for centuries and is gaining popularity due to its nutritional benefits. It’s also an excellent substitute for chicken stock concentrate. Bone broth is made from boiling the bones and connective tissues of animals to give a broth.
This nutrient-filled broth comes with plenty of health benefits and can be used in making soups and sauces. Granted, it may offer a slightly different flavor to chicken stock concentrate. But it still provides a meaty burst of flavor when chicken stock concentrate is unavailable.
4. Gravy Granules
Gravy granules are freeze-dried grains of stock. And they can be mixed with boiling water to make gravy. But these tasty granules are an excellent substitute for chicken stock concentrate due to their salty and robust flavors.
They do a great job thickening dishes, and a little goes a long way. Therefore, when adding gravy granules to your pot, add a little at a time until you get the consistency you desire. There’s also a wide variety of gravy granule flavors available, such as chicken and vegetables.
Beer is an excellent choice as a substitute for chicken stock concentrate. Cooking with beer adds a moreish depth of flavor to your dish and nullifies the need for additional salt. And it’s used as stock, broth, and baste in multiple sauces and stews across the globe.
This refreshing beverage is an excellent alternative if you’re trying to regulate the salt content of your dish. But take care to monitor the consistency of your dish, as the beer won’t reduce as much as chicken stock concentrate. Therefore, too much beer could result in a watery dish.
Wine is an ideal substitute for chicken stock concentrate. It is often used in cooking, especially in sauces and stews. It introduces a deep and warm fruity flavor to your dish, which is why it’s such a popular ingredient.
Like beer, wine is watery, so it may affect the dish’s consistency if too much is used. It’s, therefore, best to add a little as a start and keep an eye on how it affects your food.
7. Stock Cubes
Stock cubes are an excellent substitute for chicken stock concentrate. All you need to do is dissolve the cube in hot water to make stock. Or it can be crumbled directly into the dish for a more intense flavor. They’re a fantastic ingredient to keep in stock, as they have a long shelf life.
These cubes of concentrated flavor are rather salty to the taste. So, if you’ve added a stock cube to your pot, you may want to taste it before adding salt. Stock cubes come in various flavors such as beef, chicken, mutton, and vegetable.
8. Water and Butter
Perhaps the rich and fatty taste of chicken stock concentrate is what you’re after. In which case, a combination of butter and water would make an excellent substitute for chicken stock concentrate. Simply melt a stick of salted butter and mix it with a cup of warm water.
It adds a similar oiliness to the dish and introduces a creamier flavor. And it won’t compromise with the consistency of your soup, stew, or casserole. This may not give you the chicken flavor you’d get from chicken stock concentrate. But the water and butter combination is still a perfect fatty substitute.
Chicken stock concentrate is a must-have in every kitchen because of the rich, savory flavor it adds to dishes. However, when it’s unavailable, some alternatives do a great job providing that depth of flavor to your dishes. So, don’t be shy to experiment with the above-listed substitutes for your next culinary creation.