I love chicken soup especially when I am down with the cold and flu or hit by a nasty stomach bug. Known for its healing properties, chicken soup instantly boosts the immune system and aids digestion as well. It is comforting as well. Being wholesome, it nourishes the body with essential nutrients. For me chicken soup is the perfect answer to all my maladies.
And it is so simple to prepare – just boil the chicken pieces and vegetables in water with the required seasonings. One can also use readymade chicken broth for preparing the soup. Confused, are you? Wondering if chicken stock and broth aren’t the same? Well, both the terms are often used interchangeably with each other, but actually they are very different in taste, ingredients, texture, and nutrients. Both look oddly similar, making it difficult for a person to distinguish between the two. Here are the subtle differences that will help you indentify a chicken stock from a chicken broth.
Primarily chicken bones are used for making the stock. Chicken meat can be also added, but the quantity is much lesser as compared to the bones. The bones are boiled in water in a large pan to which vegetables such as celery, carrot and onions are added. Seasonings are also added to enhance the aroma, taste and flavour. The contents are simmered on low heat for about 4 to 8 hours till about the stock is reduced. Salt is never added in chicken stock. Fresh herbs and spices are added in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Chicken broth consists of chicken meat. If at all bones are added, it is less in quantity. The meatier parts of the chicken are boiled in water to which vegetables like onions, carrots and celery are added. Seasonings and salt are added as desired. Chicken broth is simmered for an hour on low heat or until the chicken pieces are cooked. Overcooking the chicken will result in flavourless and chewy meat. Chicken broth is consumed as it is unlike chicken stock which is used as a base for soups and sauces.
Texture and Taste:-
Chicken stock has richer flavour and texture. The connective tissue and cartilage turns into gelatine when simmered for so long, thickening the stock in process.
Comparatively, chicken broth is lighter in texture and taste. On cooling, it remains in the liquid form.
According to USDA, 100gms of chicken stock has about 36 calories whereas in the same quantity of chicken broth, there are 16 calories. The protein content in chicken stock is approximately 2.52 grams as compared to 2.02 grams which is in chicken broth. Chicken stock has higher fat content of about 1.20 grams, while chicken broth has about 0.29 grams of fat content. Because of the salt content, chicken broth has a higher sodium content of about 306mg which is much lesser to chicken stock that has about 143mg of sodium content.
It is difficult to say which of the two is better. It all depends upon a person’s taste preference and also how you use chicken broth and chicken stock deliciously well in your recipes.