Cooks often reach for chicken stock concentrate, a concentrated liquid made by simmering chicken bones, vegetables, and aromatics to enhance the taste and richness of their dishes. However, because it’s used in many kitchen recipes, some may run into the simple problem of running out and not knowing how to make chicken stock concentrate.
Well, you’re just in luck, as we’ll explore three simple ways to make chicken stock concentrate. These ways include how to make them on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot, and in the slow cooker.
- What is Chicken Stock Concentrate?
- How to Use Chicken Stock Concentrate?
- 3 Ways to Make Chicken Stock Concentrate
- How To Store Chicken Stock Concentrate
What is Chicken Stock Concentrate?
Before we get started, let’s get an idea of what chicken stock concentrate is. Basically, it’s a highly concentrated chicken stock that’s also known as chicken stock reduction or chicken glace. It can be made by making chicken stock and then simmering it for 3 to 6 hours to extract all of the rich flavors and nutrients.
The reduced mixture left is what we call chicken stock concentrate. This concentrate is normally preserved in liquid form and can be refrigerated or frozen. This concentrate is much thicker, sometimes syrupy chicken stock with an intensified salty, rich flavor that can be used in tiny amounts to give depth and richness to various recipes, including homemade sauces, soups, stews, risotto, and many others.
It’s also one of many types of stock concentrates, as there is also beef stock concentrate, fish (or any seafood) stock concentrate, and vegetable stock concentrate.
How to Use Chicken Stock Concentrate?
Only a small amount of this concentrated stock is needed to give a really intense flavor to recipes. But those with allergies to chicken or other ingredients typically found in chicken stock or are following a vegan or vegetarian diet should likewise look for an alternative. With that said, here are some ways to use it:
As a Substitute for Chicken Stock
Swapping water with chicken stock concentrate is suitable for all sorts of cooking. To do it, you need to reconstitute chicken stock concentrate with water first. Then you can apply it to your dishes like couscous and quinoa grains, cooking pasta and pasta sauces, cooking vegetables or noodle stir-fries, and so much more.
You can also turn ordinary rice dishes such as risottos, biryanis, congee, and pilafs into rich and savory rice meals by using chicken stock concentrate.
As Added Flavoring to Sauces and Gravies
You can also use chicken stock concentrate to flavor sauces and gravies. To enhance the flavor and add a savory kick to sauces and gravies, add a teaspoon of chicken stock concentrate. Likewise, after frying meat, you can deglaze the pan with chicken stock concentrate to make a tasty pan sauce.
To Flavor Soups and Stews
Chicken stock concentrate will also give you better flavor in soups and stews, even without salt. You can use it as a flavor base for hearty soups and stews like chicken noodle soup and tons of other chicken soup recipes.
You can even use it in chicken stew recipes like chicken masala, vindaloo, tagine, cacciatora gumbo, curry, or coq au vin, and buttered chicken. Though depending on your dish, use 1 tablespoon of chicken stock concentrate for every cup of liquid.
Use as a Marinade or Brine
You can also use chicken stock concentrate in marinades and brines to flavor meat and poultry. Instead of adding salt, add a half teaspoon of chicken stock concentrate to your marinade mixture, then rub or soak your meat in it.
3 Ways to Make Chicken Stock Concentrate
After understanding what chicken stock concentrate is and how to use it in recipes, let’s move on to the ingredients that we’ll need to make it. To make chicken stock concentrate, we’ll need our base ingredient, which is chicken stock.
The following recipes will use homemade chicken stock made with leftover chicken, bones (especially the neck), pan drippings, and other various ingredients. All these parts, combined with herbs, aromatics, and seasoning, can help make the homemade stock more flavorful. So, let’s dive into the three methods of making it.
- Approx. 5 lbs chicken bones (when using necks, backs, or carcasses or simply leftover chicken, make sure it’s a lot)
- About a pound of chicken feet (optional)
- 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
- 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 bouquet garni consisting of 3 leek leaves, 5 Italian parsley sprigs, 5 thyme sprigs, and 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp salt
- Water (enough to cover the ingredients in the pot, 6 liters or more)
This ingredient list will be used for all 3 ways to make chicken stock concentrate, so refer back to it in each recipe for the ingredients.
Stovetop Chicken Stock Concentrate
This chicken stock concentrate recipe does take a few hours, but this long stovetop process has been tried and tested by many home cooks and chefs throughout the years. It’s also one of the most convenient options to make chicken stock concentrate, as all cooks have one.
- In a large stockpot, place all the ingredients. If using herbs, place the whole stems in with the mix.
- Add enough water to cover the mixture about an inch or two higher.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat for approximately 6-8 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Skim the foam or any impurities that rise to the surface.
- Check if the liquid has been reduced by at least half. If it hasn’t, you can continue to simmer for up to 6 hours.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool a bit.
- Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove all remaining particles.
- Return the liquid to the pot and cook over low heat until it has reduced to a thick, concentrated stock (this could take another 30-60 minutes).
- Allow the stock to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
The end result of this recipe will be a delicious concentrated chicken stock that you can use to flavor soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes.
Instant Pot Chicken Stock Concentrate
The Instant Pot cooking appliance is a multi-purpose electric pressure cooker that can prepare your chicken stock concentrate in a fraction of the time it takes on the stovetop. It can also perform multiple cooking functions, such as sauteing your aromatics beforehand, so you don’t need to transfer from the stovetop to Instant Pot.
It’s safe to use, easy to clean, energy-efficient, and beginner-friendly, which makes it perfect for this recipe.
- Gather the ingredients from the recipe and add them to the instant pot.
- Cover the ingredients with about an inch more water and put the lid back on.
- Turn the valve to the “sealing” position, set the timer for 60 minutes on high pressure, and select the “pressure cook” preset. You can also choose the “soup” function on the Instant Pot.
- When the timer goes off, allow the Instant Pot to naturally reduce pressure for 15 minutes before turning the valve to “venting” to release any leftover pressure.
- Allow the mixture to cool after opening the lid before straining through a fine-mesh screen or cheesecloth to remove the particles.
- Return the liquid to the Instant Pot and set it to the “saute” setting.
- Simmer the liquid for 30-60 minutes or until it has reduced to a thick, concentrated stock.
- When the stock has been reduced to the required consistency and cooled, transfer it to an airtight container.
For those of you who already know how to use the Instant Pot to its full potential, making chicken stock concentrate should be a breeze. Now, let’s move on to the last method.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Concentrate
A slow cooker, like the Instant Pot, is another popular kitchen appliance. Also known as a crock pot, it’s designed for slow-cooking food over a longer period of time. It’s best used by individuals who prefer a hands-off approach to cooking, with the longer cooking time also allowing the flavors to gradually increase.
Unlike the Instant Pot, which uses high-pressure steam to cook food quickly, a slow cooker uses low heat to cook food slowly over several hours.
- Prepare your ingredients based on the chicken stock ingredient list.
- Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cover with water, ensuring you’ve covered an inch or two above the ingredients.
- Cook for 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly after the timer has lapsed on the crock pot.
- Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh screen or cheesecloth to remove any impurities.
- Transfer the liquid to a stock pot (or a big saucepan) and simmer over low heat for 30-60 minutes. Once it reaches a thick concentration, it’s ready.
- Allow the stock to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container once it has reached the required consistency.
One of the benefits of a slow cooker is that you can prepare your chicken stock concentrate, leave it to do its thing, and then come back to it after several hours.
How To Store Chicken Stock Concentrate
Once you’ve made your chicken stock concentrate using either the stovetop method, an Instantpot, or a slow cooker, let it cool completely. Once it has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container.
You can keep your chicken stock concentrate in the refrigerator or freezer for easy access whenever you need to improve the flavor of your dishes. It can last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 3 months.