Recently my son was having an impromptu sleepover with a friend. I was not in the mood to cook, but suddenly I needed to feed two hungry boys. I really didn’t want to resort to ordering a pizza, so I opened up my freezer and saw stacks of containers filled with homemade chicken stock. From where I stood, the only logical things to do was to make chicken noodle soup. With a good stock to start with, all it needs is some noodles and a few freshly cut vegetables. Add a nice crusty garlic bread on the side and dinner is done. The boys ate it up. The following week, the friend’s mom told me her son couldn’t stop talking about the soup and asked if she could have the recipe. I wished I could have emailed her a recipe, but the secret to great chicken soup is time. There just isn’t a substitute for a homemade stock cooked slowly for at least four hours and then carefully cooled, strained and skimmed. Homemade stock has a depth of flavor and richness that you won’t find on your grocer’s shelf. It is made simply with water, chicken bones, herbs (parsley, bay leaf and maybe a garlic clove), and the holy trinity of cooking (carrots, celery and onion). Look on your grocer’s shelf and the broths there will have all kinds of additional ingredients, even Pacific Organic broth has “chicken flavor” in the mix.
I attended Foodista’s International Food Blogger Conference a couple of weeks ago here in Seattle. It was a wonderful weekend to meet other food writers and learn about new products and companies in the food space. I did not expect to see any products that I would be interested in trying, as I focus on scratch cooking. So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover some great products and services that I had never come across before and was excited to try. When I walked past the Aneto Natural Broths table I found packages of chicken stock which in ingredient list that is similar to my own.
I picked up a couple and brought them home to give them a try against my own homemade stock.
One of the questions I get asked quite frequently is what kind of broth or stock I recommend. Homemade stock is always the best option, but most people don’t want to invest the better part of a day preparing it themselves. It is such an important ingredient, it adds flavor, moisture and nutrients. I’ve always found it frustrating that even “gourmet” broths have such a long list of processed ingredients.
I decided to test the Aneto Chicken broth side by side with my own stock as a simple chicken noodle soup.
The Aneto stock has a really nice aroma right out of the container. It has a much more cloudy appearance.
I personally prefer the clear appearance of my homemade stock, but the Aneto stock has a nice rich chicken flavor which would make it very well suited as an ingredient in other dishes.
It is more expensive than the broth’s at the grocery store, but it’s flavor is worth with the extra price. For dishes that really rely on the flavor of stock such as risotto or paella I would definitely recommend giving this a try.
Where to find Aneto stocks: