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Chicken Stock vs. Chicken Broth

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Old 09-11-2005, 04:39 PM   #1
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Question Chicken Stock vs. Chicken Broth

Ok, I'm a cook but not the smartest of cooks. I have a recipe for Homestyle Chicken Barley Soup that I'll be making tonight. It calls for 1 cup chicken stock and 2 1/2 cups of water. I want to use Swanson's Chicken Broth. I want it to have a full bodied chicken flavor. Is Chicken broth chicken stock? It seems like chicken broth must be less intense than stock.

I'm thinking that 2 1/2 cups water in 1 cup broth would taste like water. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-11-2005, 04:57 PM   #2
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Vickie, I'm thinking for your purposes, broth would probably work just fine. Maybe monkey with the broth to water ratio a little if you want it more flavorful.

I found this online. It's probably more than you ever wanted to know.

"The basic differences between a broth and a stock lies in its "properties". For example, a chicken broth will react differently when deglazing a sauté pan than a chicken stock. The reason for this is that the chicken stock will contain more gelée (gelée=gelatine=dissolved cartilage) than chicken broth and will bind up the pan drippings into a pan sauce as the stock is reduced, replacing the alternative of cream or butter to aid in this process. The type of chicken parts used in the pot and the amount of extraction of gelée depends on the length of reduction. These are the key factors to consider in determining whether you are making chicken stock or chicken broth. Let us take a moment and review these key factors in chicken broth and chicken stock.


Chicken broth is usually made with chicken meat and chicken parts, with a high flesh to bone ratio. Whole chicken or assorted parts can be used. Fryers and roasters, both readily available at your local supermarket, do not produce satisfactory results. Stewing hens produce the best broth and are often available in the poultry section in your market. If you cannot find them do not hesitate to ring for assistance - the poultry manager will usually order them for you. For the more adventuresome, you may be able to locate someone who has a small flock of laying hens that are past their prime for egg production. Purchase one or two of them to slaughter and dress yourself. The reduction time for chicken broth at sea level is about 3 hours.


Chicken stock is made mostly of chicken parts that have a very low flesh to bone ratio. Backs, necks and breast bones produce the best stock. These boney parts are also readily available at your local supermarket, either in the case or by special order. It is also advantageous to buy whole chickens and cut them up yourself for other recipes. You can then freeze backbones, wing tips, and other parts not used in your original recipe until you are ready to make your stock. To achieve the maximum extraction of gelée from the chicken bones the reduction time at sea level is 6 hours. Water, vegetables, herbs, and salt are ingredients that are common to both stock and broth."

I always tell my students the difference between stock and broth is that broth can be served as is. You enhance the flavor by the addition of meat. The seasoning has been adjusted. It can be a complete soup.



Whereas the stock cannot. It is the basic liquid made from bones and vegetables and aromatics. You can turn stock into broth but not the other way around.


If you use broth to make sauces I would be careful of the salt content, because ususally there is an addition of alot more salt in broth as opposed to stock. Broth is more flavorful.
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:28 PM   #3
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Wow! Chicken Liquids 101! That's some great info, Angela. I had also wondered if they were the same and/or interchangeable.
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:33 PM   #4
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me, too.
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:34 PM   #5
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thank you, kathy. now i'm wondering if we only get it once a day. lol i hope not because i am going to be soooo planted i'll prob grow tater sprouts.
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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Angela, you are just the BEST! I'm thinking I won't use so much water. We like a more "chickeny" soup. I'm not eating anything to salty the night before weigh in. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:09 PM   #7
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Okay if you think I'm slaughtering and dressing my chickens so I can get the most gelatinous stock possible you're WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

Thanks god for Campbell's chicken broth is all I can say!

Stewing hens of the world you are safe from me!!!

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Old 09-13-2005, 02:33 PM   #8
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I was thinking the same thing Frouf! There is NO WAY I would go to all that trouble just to get a stock with more gelee. I'll happily deal with my gelee-poor broth, thank you.

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Old 09-13-2005, 04:59 PM   #9
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Oh you just have to feel sorry for us gelee-deprived souls! tee hee ha ha ha ha
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