- 1 3-pound whole chicken
- ½ bunch celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro or parsley stems
- 2 medium carrots, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
In general, here, we are all about making recipes effectively. That means not calling for two ingredients where one will do, and cutting only the right corners. I gave up a Substitute for Homemade Chicken Stock without causing too much harm to most recipes. It isn’t charming when we talk about the homemade version or store bought kind. No matter how hard you try, you never seem to have good stuff at home when you need it, and boxed items from the store spoil fast until you use them.
Fortunately, we are here to tell you a secret that changes the game: In most soups, stews, sauces, and braises, water is acceptable instead of chicken stock. In most cases, water gives the best taste result.
If you are a person who makes homemade chicken stock regularly and freezes it in different size bowls for all your cooking needs, I appreciate you. The quality homes made stock adds depth to the taste and body of a recipe. But it’s a luxury, not a necessity—it gilds the lily, as they say. Why? Because most soups, stews, and braziers build their stock when cooked, so there is no need to start from the basic stock.
For example, hearty soups with longer cooking times like minestrone are filled with spices and seasonings like bacon, onions, and garlic. They mix water to their taste and make their own pure, delicious broth. When are dry beans included? Forget it! It is a crime to add anything to it because those little beans create such a delicious broth just by themselves.
There are a few keys to enhancing the flavor when using water instead of stock. Make sure your cooking liquid is aggressively seasoned.
The especially store-bought stock has a lot of salt, so you may need to add more salt than you would if you switched to water. Consider having flavor boosters such as white wine, old palm rind, soy sauce, or miso paste dollop. If all else fails, increasing the quantities of aromatics-one that enhances the flavor of onions, garlic, celery, herbs, etc. – will go a long way in enhancing the flavor. Make sure to give the materials time and space to release the good stuff by simmering slowly and gently.
When do you have trouble using stock instead of water? The taste of the stock is good only in some cases. In general, water should be seen as a functional ingredient all on its own. Try to use it instead of stock for your next stew or braise and save your time, effort, and money. Once you go into the water, you will never go back.