Stock Meals With Flavor

Chicken stock is handy to have around for adding flavor to a variety of dishes. With a little stock and these great tips, your family will think you've started channeling Julia Child. When you're using chicken stock rather than water as a soaking or cooking liquid, always hold off on the salt until the recipe is finished; then, taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

chicken stockRice, couscous and other starches

Let's face it: Rice and other starchy sides get most of their flavor from what you put in them. Give your side dishes a head start by infusing them with flavor as they are cooking. Rice, couscous and even potatoes benefit from being cooked in chicken stock. It adds a delicate flavor that goes well with most main courses and in almost any casserole. Beware the salt, however. Don't add salt to the stock when you begin cooking. Just taste at the end of the cooking time and adjust the flavor with added salt and pepper if necessary.

Reduce the fat in cream soups

Rather than using all cream and milk in dairy-based soups, substitute about 1/3 of the dairy with chicken stock. The stock won't dilute the flavor of the finished soup, but it will cut calories and fat. For example, one cup of skim milk has 90 calories, but one cup of chicken stock adds only a skinny 12 calories.

Soaking dried beans

Beans are a healthy way to add important fiber and protein to your diet. They are least expensive when purchased dried, but they require soaking to rehydrate them. By using chicken stock as all or part of the soaking liquid, the bland legumes are tender and flavorful by the time you put them on the table.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 8 servings

If you're ready to give creative cooking with chicken stock a try, this easy recipe from Knorr has a rich flavor and few calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (about 5 cups)
  • 2 Yukon gold or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 large shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tubs Knorr® Homestyle Stock -- Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme and/or rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix the squash, potatoes, shallots (or onion), garlic and olive oil in a roasting pan and roast for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown. Stir once or twice.
  3. Bring water, stock, vegetables, thyme and ginger to a boil in a large saucepan.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  5. Process the soup in small batches in a blender until smooth.

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