Most commercial chicken broths are dreadful, “fowl” concoctions. So what is the time-pressed home cook to do?
Rare is the cook who has the time for the slowly simmered perfection of homemade chicken stock. The rest of us head to the soup aisle of the local supermarket to make do with some permutation of commercially prepared chicken broth. But truth be told, it could take nearly as long just to choose from the confusing array of offerings: Alongside the standard metal cans of broth and the dehydrated bouillon powders sit dozens of broths sporting “aseptic” packaging (resealable paper cartons) and glass jars filled with gloppy “base” (chicken broth reduced to a concentrated paste). Add organic, low-sodium, and gourmet-shop varieties to the mix, and the number of options quickly becomes overwhelming.An honest chicken broth distinguished by its chickeny flavor and hearty aroma.
So what chicken broth product should you reach for when you haven’t got time for homemade? We recommend choosing a mass-produced, lower-sodium brand—and check the label for evidence of mirepoix ingredients. (The best-tasting brands get help from vegetables, a glutamic compound, or both.)
And the winner is:
We’re not ones to jump on the organic bandwagon for its own sake; the proof’s in the taste. Swanson’s newest broth won tasters over with “very chickeny, straightforward, and honest flavors,” a hearty aroma, and restrained “hints of roastiness.”