Save time and money and eat well with chicken or vegetable stock

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 By

Huge pot of soup made from turkey leftovers, chicken stock, potatoes, celery, carrots, baby limas, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and one green pepper, minced garlic cloves, milled flax seed and a cup of pearl barley.

A turkey soup that utilizes chicken stock. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Cheryl/Flickr)

Every non-vegetarian cook can find a use for chicken stock. Vegetarians can simply substitute vegetable. The uses for this kind of miracle base are myriad, and keeping some on hand is not only convenient, but it can save money. Here are a few things to make with chicken stock, in case you’re in search of healthy cooking ideas.

Add flavor to white rice

Cook the rice with chicken stock instead of water for some added zest. Two parts liquid to one part rice is the general rule of thumb. Bring the chicken or vegetable stock to a boil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of butter (optional) and a cup of rice. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed.

Spruce up couscous

Since most couscous is pre-steamed and dried, adding stock for flavor should only take a few minutes. Boil 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, add 1 cup of couscous, cover and remove from the heat. In five minutes, the dish will be ready to serve.

Making polenta irresistible

Rather than simply boiling the cornmeal in water, use chicken stock. It’s easy and very tasty. Simply follow your online polenta recipe of choice.

Getting saucy

Whether it’s velouté as a sauce and soup base to something simple like a low-fat alfredo, marinara or curry, simply sub in for water, milk or wine where appropriate, depending upon the sauce in question. In curry, substitute chicken stock or vegetable stock for broth.

Getting soupy

Stock is great when it comes time to make soup, too. With bamboo shoots, asparagus or coconut shoots, it can combine in a hot and sour number. Chicken noodle soup is an obvious, time-tested choice. Stock is also great in butternut squash soup, minestrone and even clam chowder. New England style works particularly well with chicken stock, as the classic flavor is maintained while some of the calories of the extra cream are shed in favor of the chicken stock.

Try chicken and dumplings

Cook the dough in chicken stock for added flavor. In a slow cooker, try substituting half of the water for stock. If you’d like gravy with that, take the chicken drippings, add the cornstarch or flour in a pan over medium-high heat, and whisk in two cups of stock. Once it thickens, add seasoning to taste, remove from the heat and you’re ready to go

Or mashed potatoes

Speaking of gravy, don’t forget the mashed potatoes! Using Yukon gold potatoes, mash with a cup of chicken stock instead of the standard allotment of butter and cream, working it in until you’ve reached the desired consistency. This will save fat and calories.

Make stuffing

With an onion, four celery stalks, a loaf of stale French bread and a cup of chicken stock, you can make outstanding stuffing. Sauté the onion and chopped celery in 3/4 cup butter over medium-high heat. Wait until it’s soft, season as desired, then stir in bread cubes chicken stock. Pour that into a casserole dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

How to make chicken stock

Sources

About.com Culinary Arts

Amateur Gourmet

WiseBread

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