What Is the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?

You know the action movie trope in which someone needs to choose between two identical characters, deciding which one is the evil replicant and which one is the hero? Well, I just went through that with chicken stock and chicken broth. There I was, on top of a skyscraper, time ticking away. “Are chicken broth and chicken stock the same thing?” I kept asking myself, as they pleaded, each asking me to consider the good times we’d had together. Long story short, I didn’t end up killing either of them. Because after a nice long reasonable conversation, we were able to work out that they really aren’t exactly the same at all. But, what is the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock? Let’s take a look! 

What is chicken stock?

Chicken stock is made with chicken cartilage and bones and left unseasoned, so it’s truly chicken essence. The bones and cartilage contain collagen, which results in a rich, viscous texture. If you let it cool, it might even become a gelatin. Stock is often used for more than soups and stews, like to bring a stronger flavor to things like quinoa or rice, or livening up sauteed vegetables.

What is chicken broth?

Though the ingredients of both chicken stock and chicken broth are largely the same, broth is more synonymous with soup and it has a much thinner texture. Broth is made mostly from the chicken meat rather than bones, and is always seasoned, making broth more flavorful than stock. 

TL;DR: chicken stock vs. chicken broth

Here’s the main difference between chicken stock and chicken broth: Stock is thicker than broth and has more chicken flavor. If you are using it for soup, or want the flavor of stock (with the added benefit of seasonings) without the heft of stock, you can use broth.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I let both stock and broth live that fateful day. It wasn’t easy to do real-time comparing and contrasting as helicopters whirred overhead and FBI agents hollered through bullhorns, but at the end of the day, that’s what I signed up for when I took this job. And, darn it, my community needs me. 

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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