The chicken stock concentrate is a secret weapon used by chefs worldwide. It can help transform the flavor, depth, and richness of a dish, making it a very useful ingredient.
This concentrate can be added to stews, soups, gravies, and many other dishes, and can typically be found pretty easily in grocery stores. And, when searching for it in-store, it’ll usually come in a form of gelatin.
Chicken stock is certainly a very versatile ingredient, but its overall taste is somewhat mild. Therefore, it allows other flavors in dishes to shine through, rather than be overloaded by the chicken stock concentrate.
As well as other stocks, such as fish, beef, and vegetable stock, the chicken variety is best used as an ingredient. However, it is not suitable for those with certain food allergies, vegans, or vegetarians.
So, what happens when a recipe you’re following requires a chicken stock concentrate? Well, this is where substitutes step in.
Whether you can’t eat chicken stock or you have run out, there are fortunately a number of alternatives you can use instead.
These are generally very easy to find in the store, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll have some in your kitchen already.
Join us as we guide you through the best substitutes for chicken stock concentrate, so your dish doesn’t lack that all-important ingredient.
Chicken Stock Concentrate – What Is It?
The chicken stock concentrate is when stock gets boiled into a thicker, denser liquid. This results in a salty, rich flavored concentrated broth.
Many cuisines throughout the world use chicken stock concentrate in their dishes. Most of the time, it is used to simply add some extra flavor to the food.
This concentrate includes salt so no additional seasoning is required. Thanks to this, chicken stock concentrate is regarded as a convenient and easy-to-use ingredient.
The stock also comes in the form of natural gelatin. Therefore, it is sometimes used as a gelling agent in certain dishes, such as desserts and jellied salads.
There are many types of chicken stock concentrate on the market, with some products being better than others. That is why you need to ensure you buy top-quality stock concentration to bring out the best in your dishes.
Some brands add preservatives and artificial ingredients to their chicken stock concentrate. Not only can this affect the overall flavor and quality, but it can also have an impact on your health over time.
The best, healthiest chicken stock concentrates are generally labeled with “natural flavors,” so always look out for this.
Okay, now you know what chicken stock concentrate is, it’s time to find some substitutes for it. After all, it isn’t suitable for everyone and some recipes call for it.
So, let’s get down to business so you can start preparing your dish right away.
Best Substitutes For Chicken Stock Concentrate
Whether you are out of chicken stock concentrate or are unable to include it in your diet, you have plenty of alternatives to consider.
1. Gravy Granules
Gravy granules (see also our substitutes for Au Jus Gravy Mix) are rich in taste and can add a wonderful thickness to a dish. If you want something that is a more natural additive, then gravy granules could be just the ticket.
These granules are usually made out of vegetable extracts or meat extracts, such as beef, chicken, pork, or lamb.
The granules are thickened using wheat flour, and because of this, they are gluten-free. Therefore, if you are unable to eat gluten or follow a vegan diet, vegetable gravy granules are a great alternative to chicken stock concentrate.
Just a quick warning, though – gravy granules tend to have a very high salt content. Therefore, only use sparingly and if strictly required.
2. Chicken Stock (Homemade)
Chicken stock is surprisingly, and pleasingly easy to make. It’s so simple that you can even make it without following a recipe! How? You just have to gather whatever you have lying in your refrigerator and throw them together.
So, you have herbs, spices, meat, bones (pork ribs also work well), and vegetable leftovers. These are all excellent ingredients for making your very own chicken stock at home.
If you have chicken necks or chicken feet leftover, too, you don’t need to waste these as they can also be used.
Of course, you may not have any bones to spare. If not, you can simply use vegetable scraps instead, such as carrot peels and the tops of different greens.
If the recipe you are following asks for a cacophony of ingredients, then making and using homemade chicken stock is always a good call. Not only can it add extra flavor to your food, but it can help you save money.
Moreover, you can control how much seasoning you want, too, so you can get the stock exactly how you want it to be.
3. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock is a great substitute for chicken stock concentrate. It is typically cholesterol-free, low in fat and calories, and can be used in a range of recipes.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, veggie stock is the best alternative. No animal products are used in it, and its mild flavor-profile means it never overpowers the main flavor of the dish you’re making.
You can make it yourself by cutting up some vegetables and boiling them in water. What vegetables? Whatever you have! For example, carrots, peppers, garlic, and onions (see also ‘5 Substitutes You Can Use Instead Of Spanish Onions‘) are great ingredients.
Because vegetable stock is considered pretty bland on its own, we recommend adding some seasoning and species before serving your meal. Therefore, the flavor achieves that all-important additional kick.
4. Bone Broth
For non-vegans and non-vegetarians, bone broth is a great substitute for chicken stock. This has been used for thousands of years by many cultures worldwide.
Bone broth is easy to prepare. You just add animal bones, typically chicken or beef, with water.
So, if you have any bones left over from a previous meal, you don’t have to waste them. You can even include oxtail and marrow bones.
There are also some health benefits of using bone broth, as it has been shown to help with skin health. Several amino acids, like arginine and glycine, are also found inside bone broth, which are important for tissue growth and repair.
Bone broth may even help keep your immune system strong and healthy, too!
Whatever the recipe, bone broth can usually act as a great alternative to chicken stock concentrate.
5. Stock Cubes
Stock cubes are another great substitute for chicken broth concentrate.
Very easy to use, stock cubes can be added to your recipe without needing to measure them first. No messing about; just get on with it!
Stock cubes are also good substitutes for vegetable and beef broths, too. That’s why it’s always handy to have a few in the kitchen, just in case.
The flavor of these cubes tends to be very savory but not too overpowering. But, stock cubes typically have a high sodium content, so should only be used sparingly.
Wait… beer? That’s right! Beer is a great way of adding some depth of flavor to your meals and is a great substitute for chicken stock concentrate. If you’re making a stew or sauce, beer can transform the dish for the better!
Beer helps to add a depth of flavor without needing to add any salt. So, if you’re on a salt-restricted diet, beer is a good alternative.
Like beer, wine is also a good substitute for chicken stock concentrate, especially in stews.
Both white and red wines add richness to the flavors of certain dishes. For stews, red wine is the best option for a deeper, richer flavor, whilst white wine is best in sauces, as it provides a more delicate, softer taste.
As you can see, there are several substitutes you can use in place of chicken stock concentrate. Try some and let us know which works best for you! Thanks for reading.