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Chicken Bullion: Definition and Practical Applications

Chicken Bullion: Definition and Practical Applications

If you’ve ever wandered down the soups or condiments aisle at the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed something called chicken bouillon. What is chicken bullion, and what is it used for?

Is it a difficult ingredient that only experienced chefs should employ, or can anyone who knows the basics make dishes with chicken bouillon? 

The good news is that anyone can use chicken bouillon, and it’s an excellent ingredient for dozens of recipes.

What Is Chicken Bouillon?

Knorr Granulated Bouillon, Chicken Flavor, 7.9 oz (Pack of 2) with By The Cup Swivel Spoon

Chicken bouillon is the French way of saying chicken broth, but it’s normally found in cube form rather than in a jar or box of liquid.

Chicken bouillon is also produced as a powder, paste, or liquid. Most chicken bouillon manufacturers create granules or cubes, which cooks can mix into their dishes.

Chicken bouillon is made from condensed chicken stock or chicken broth. Many companies that make bouillon do so by making cubes that you can drop into a pot or mix into the food while it’s cooking.

Many manufacturers sell their chicken bouillon as granules, which you can add to dishes like soup.

According to Serious Eats, the predecessor of chicken bouillon was made of bones and meat trimmings and was a solidified chicken stock that a British loyalist invented in the 18th century, around the time of the American Revolution.

A century later, several companies began making bouillon cubes as an inexpensive option for seasoning soup. 

What is Chicken Bouillon Used For?

Bouillon is an easy and flavorful way to enhance stew, gravy, or soup, and it’s a popular ingredient in sauce. Mixing bouillon into the water used to boil quinoa, rice, or pasta adds flavor to the finished product.

Bouillon is a tasty and flavorful part of the cooking process, and it’s fun to experiment with it to see how the flavors turn out when you prepare a meal.

Overall, chicken bouillon is a versatile option for enhancing the flavor of your cooking, and it’s easily accessible at any grocery store.

All you have to do to use it in a recipe that includes a sauce or broth is drop it in the put as you start to cook the ingredients. Bouillon is also an excellent ingredient for slow cooker recipes.

Choosing Between Chicken Stock, Broth, and Bouillon

Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock, 8.25 fl oz (Pack of 12)

How do you choose between chicken bouillon, chicken stock, or chicken broth? Sometimes, you’ll see these terms used interchangeably, but they’re not identical.

The main thing to remember is that chicken stock is a rather thick substance with more flavor than broth or bouillon. Chicken stock is an excellent ingredient for dishes like dumplings or soup.

Meanwhile, chicken broth is thinner, and it’s available in other varieties beyond chicken. Broth makers also offer fish and beef versions.

Chicken broth is a good, subtle base when you’re using other flavors in your dish that are more intense or that feature cream. Chicken broth works well in gravy and sauces that have a cream base.

Bouillon, meanwhile, since it’s a dehydrated version of chicken stock, is usable in all sorts of dishes that benefit from enhanced flavor.

One of the benefits of bouillon, too, is that it lasts for months, whereas chicken broth and stock only last a few days after opening.

Can You Make Chicken Bouillon at Home?

Technically, you could make chicken bouillon at home, but it’s much easier to buy traditional bouillon from the store due to the complexity of creating it.

Most homemade recipes are actually faux chicken bouillon and use nutritional yeast as one of the flavor agents.

Other ingredients required to make a form of chicken bouillon at home include salt, onion powder, parsley, and celery seed. Recipes also call for dried thyme, paprika, ground pepper, and turmeric.

If you have all of these spices in your spice cabinet already, you might want to try your hand at homemade chicken bouillon.

Using Chicken Bouillon with a Salt Sensitivity

Following a low-salt diet means choosing carefully when it comes to chicken bouillon. Chicken bouillon usually has a rather high salt content, and some varieties include monosodium glutamate (MSG).

If you’re on a low-salt diet, or you don’t want to increase the taste of salt in your dish, look for a low-salt bouillon option.

In most cases, a single serving of bouillon adds more than 40 percent of your daily recommended amount of salt, assuming you’re not on a low-salt diet.

Therefore, if you’re trying to avoid a lot of salt in your dishes, make sure that you check out the salt content on your bouillon cubes or granules.

In addition to noticing a high salt content and MSG within the ingredients of chicken bouillon, you may also see ingredients like disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, which enhance the MSG.

Not all brands use MSG in their bouillon, but it’s something to watch out for if you’d rather avoid it in your cooking.

What is Chicken Bullion FAQ

Is chicken bouillon the same as chicken stock?

Bouillon is the French way of saying broth, which means chicken bouillon is simply a different way of saying chicken broth. However, chicken bouillon is not chicken stock.

In some cases, however, the word bouillon refers to condensed broth presented in a form like granules, pastes, or liquids.

What is chicken bouillon made out of?

Chicken bouillon, or broth, is made from a mixture of dehydrated vegetables and chicken stock, as well as fat and salt. Bouillon also contains various seasonings like coriander, turmeric, and parsley. Certain types of bouillon include monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Does chicken bouillon have real chicken?

Chicken bouillon is made of real chicken when not otherwise advertised as a vegetarian or vegan product meant to taste like chicken but actually made of other ingredients.

Bouillon is made from dehydrated chicken stock, which requires simmering chicken meat and bones in water.

What is a chicken bouillon substitute?

If you don’t want to use chicken bouillon, you can simply use chicken broth as a substitute. Other options include chicken stock or plain water dressed up with seasonings normally used in chicken bouillon, like turmeric, parsley, and coriander.