Chicken broth is a savory liquid made by simmering meat and bones, herbs, and aromatic vegetables like celery, carrots, and onions in water over low medium heat for an hour. It has a light chicken flavor which makes it suitable to use in recipes like soups, sauces, gravy, and even rice to add flavor. You can also simmer the broth for a little longer to intensify the flavor and eat it on its own.
How to make chicken broth
Making your own chicken broth is the best option since you will make it as healthy as possible with no additives and you can also play around with herbs to bring out your desired flavor.
Here’s how to make chicken broth:
- Put the chicken, herbs, and vegetables in a pot.
- Add water. Put enough water to cover the chicken fully.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour skimming the foam when necessary
- Remove the chicken and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes or until you get your desired consistency
- Strain the broth and allow it to cool
- Serve or cool it completely and store it in the fridge or freezer
Well stored chicken broth will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days and 2-3 months in the freezer.
Benefits of chicken broth
Chicken broth is a healthy dish that is beneficial to our bodies in one way or the other. It is filled with essential minerals and vitamins to help our bodies fight common illnesses and boost the immune system in general.
These healthy benefits include:
Chicken broth is packed with collagen which helps to repair the joints by reducing pain and inflammation.
Improving bone growth
As the broth slowly simmers, the bones become weak and crumble hence minerals such magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus get released into the liquid which helps in bone growth.
Treating leaky gut syndrome
Leaky gut occurs when the undigested food particles from food seep through the tiny opening in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream leading to inflammatory bowel disease. The amino acids in the broth help to keep the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall well hydrated to ease food digestion.
Chicken broth helps to cure common cold and flu by reducing congestion and thinning mucus to ease symptoms.
Aids metabolism and promotes anabolism
Chicken bones contain glutathione which plays an important role in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism, and regulation of cellular activities in the body. Their metabolic roles include building and repairing muscle tissues, boosting nutrient absorption and synthesis, and maintain muscle and connective tissue health.
What are the substitutes for chicken broth?
Since the preparation of beef broth and that of a chicken broth are the same from the ingredients(vegetables and herbs) to the cooking with the only difference being meat, you can use beef broth in place of chicken broth and still have the dish as great as you wanted it to be.
When making any dish that requires a large amount of broth, you can use water as a substitute so that as it simmers it can make its broth. However, you will need to adjust the seasoning accordingly using soy sauce, salt and other flavor boosters to bring out the desired taste.
Chicken bouillon cube
Chicken bouillon cube is a perfect substitute for chicken broth. Simply dissolve one cube in a cup of hot water and use it in the required recipe. However,when using these cubes, you should minimize seasoning since it is usually very salty.
Since consomme is made out of the broth, meaning the flavors are almost the same, you can use it to substitute for chicken broth. However, you will need to dilute it first since it is a little more concentrated to get the intended flavor.
Just like beef broth, any broth works well in any recipe that calls for chicken broth.
When using white wine to substitute for chicken broth, if the recipe calls for a cup of chicken broth, simply use the exact amount of wine in your recipe.
Chicken broth substitutes for vegetarians
Any vegetable broth will work as a great substitute for chicken broth for vegetarians as they are both prepared with the same aromatics (onion, carrot, and celery) giving them a similar flavor. These broths include:
This is basically made of onions, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, and any other herb of your choice.
This is a Japanese soup prepared from fermented soybean paste, seaweed, tofu, and vegetables and it is very rich in vitamin B.
Onion and garlic broth
To make an onion and garlic broth, saute garlic and onion in oil then add wine (white wine since it’s a substitute for chicken)and water and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour.
This is an Italian soup made of vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, beans with additional rice, or pasta. Preparing it using leftover vegetables will always give room for creativity.