Whether it’s long grain white rice, long grain brown rice, jasmine rice, regular plain white rice, regular brown rice, whatever rice, it is no word of a lie that the world finds rice tasty and it works as a staple food in almost every cuisine!

The ways in which we cook rice do in fact differ though, depending not only on what we are cooking, but also the traditional cooking process that we have been taught. cooked rice can come out in many different textures and flavors – some cook their rice moist, some like tender rice, and some like to add extra flavor for a tasty rice.

Today I am going to focus on the latter – the ways in which we can add more flavor to our rice without altering the prep time. One of the most popular ways to do this is to boil the rice in a broth instead of water and, in particular, people choose to do this in a chicken broth.

What is Chicken Broth?

To fully understand why people would cook rice in chicken broth, it would be useful to firstly understand what exactly chicken broth is. Many people confuse chicken broth with chicken stock, however they do slightly differ.

Chicken broth is made by using the bones to flavor your water. On the other hand, chicken stock is made using roasted bones, meat or vegetables. This is why it is so easy to find other types of stock, such as vegetable stock or ham stock, but not so easy to find various types of broth.

Chicken broth is a savory liquid, with a savory flavor, made by boiling bones in water to add flavor to it. whilst stock is made in a similar method, broth tends to usually be slightly thicker. In some parts of the world, both broth and stock do refer to the same thing and you usually buy them in powder form  and then mix with water. The powder has a very strong flavor, so make sure to use the right ratio.

Broth can also be known as bouillon and comes in powder form, much like stock. This powder may have other fresh herbs included in the making of it to add more flavor, but you are more likely to find excess ingredients in vegetable stock or vegetable broth as this needs the additional flavors to make it stand out more in your cooking.

Chicken broth is usually used in sauces, gravies or can be drunk on its own. However, some people like to replace the water they use for cooking with stock or broth. This is particularly popular when cooking rice.

Why do people cook rice in chicken broth?

As previously mentioned, chicken broth, and almost all broths and stocks, have a very strong flavor. rice, on the other hand, can be quite bland in flavor. People tend to mix in things like fresh thyme, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, even spices like jasmine, to add more flavor to the final product. However, one really great and easy way to add extra flavor to your rice is to cook it in stock.

Cooking rice in chicken stock is a reliable and efficient method with a very basic recipe. It does not require any extra steps, it is such a simple substitution to adding flavor, quite often you don’t even need to season rice if it is boiled in stock, and it comes out with a much richer flavor.

Broth is very cheap to purchase, easy to use, and is basically just another form of cooking liquid with a better taste and requires no extra cooking time. It is also very low in nutrition calories and so it will not add much in terms of making your recipes less healthy.

How do I cook my rice in chicken broth?

The beauty of this recipe is that it is so simple to cook. You simply boil your rice in the same method as usual, but add some chicken broth or stock powder to the water once it begins to simmer, before adding the rice.

Let your water simmer in the saucepan, and then add in your stock or broth powder. Give that a stir and it should dissolve. The back of the packet will tell you how much you require, but for 2 cups of water you are likely to need around 3 to 4 tablespoons of broth powder. Edit these quantities depending on how much the recipe calls for when it is just water.

Once the broth is prepared, you simply need to add rice to the pot and cook the rice the way you normally would. make sure you stir your rice throughout cooking it so that it is evenly cooked in the saucepan.

Many people like to fry the uncooked rice before boiling it, as it brings out quite a nutty flavor. This adds an extra step to the process, but I can promise it is worth it as the rice is delicious! You can find out more about how to do this HERE.

Cooking rice can be difficult in itself, but if you end up with too much liquid and the rice is ready, you can simply drain the remaining stock away from the cooked rice as you empty it from the saucepan.

This will give your rice a strong flavor as the rice will absorb the stock the same way it would normally absorb the water when cooking it over a heat.

Most broths have quite a salty flavor, so it is important to be cautious of this and avoid adding extra salt to your food, as you may end up with too much salt, giving your food a salt flavor that is not edible.

Can I Make My Own Chicken Broth?

You can make your own chicken broth, you just need to give yourself enough prep time as it can take a few hours.

You simply need some boney chicken pieces, such as the legs, wings or neck. You can also use some veg, like celery, onions or carrots, as this helps to add a bit of flavor. People often add herbs and spices too. I would recommend bay leaves or dried rosemary as these flavors really compliment chicken, and definitely add some black peppercorns, but you can use whatever flavors you find delicious.

Pop all of your ingredients into a dutch oven or a large pot that you have a lid for. let all ingredients simmer for around 3 to 4 hours. make sure to remove froth as it cooks, and leave your lid on a tilt to let out some of the steam but to still lock in the flavors of your meat and veg.

If you have added vegetables to your broth, be careful not to overcook it. You can remove the meat and vegetables after the allocated time and then leave it to simmer for longer. As the broth cooks for longer, it will slowly reduce which will allow the flavor to get stronger.

You can in fact roast the bones first and then follow the process above, and this creates more of a stock than a broth. broth tends to have a lighter flavor than stock due to this shortened cooking time.

What Can I Substitute for Chicken Broth?

Depending on what you cook, almost any broth or stock will work in place. The chicken broth may specifically compliment whatever dish you are prepping, but if using the rice as a side dish then chicken broth is not the only way to add flavor. Almost any stock will bring more flavor to your rice.

Alternatively, you can season the rice afterwards to add more flavor or, as mentioned, you can fry the uncooked rice before boiling it to bring out more flavor.

Final Words

So, cooking your rice in chicken broth can really add something extra to your dish. If you are making a meal plan and you notice a lot of rice is appearing, then adding these extra tastes can really make your rice delicious and bring a little extra to what you are eating.

Whilst chicken broth will compliment a lot, and is easy to make homemade chicken broth, you can boil your rice in whatever broth you like. If you are cooking for vegetarians then you can use a vegetable broth instead to add a little something.

Remember to be careful with how much salt you use, as store-bought broth and stock often have a very strong salt flavor already

It is a quick, easy method to bring a little extra to your rice! But remember, you can replace water with broth in just about any savory dish and it will boost the flavor. whether that is sauces, chilli, pasta – you name it!

FAQs

Is it necessary to soak brown rice or any rice before cooking?

Long grain rice, brown rice, hawaiian rice, whatever rice you are preparing, it is a good idea to soak it first to remove any bacteria.

What happens if you don’t wash rice?

If you don’t wash rice, you can risk getting ill from it.

Can I use chicken broth instead of water to cook rice?

Yes, using chicken broth instead of water to cook rice can really add some extra flavor to your meal.

What is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?

Chicken stock and broth are very similar, however chicken stock is made from roasting the bones first before simmering, and so it has a stronger, more intense flavor than broth.

How much water do I use for 2 cups of brown rice?

For 2 cups of brown rice you should use four cups of water. It is roughly 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice.

What can I add to rice for flavor?

You can cook your rice in stock to add extra flavor. You can also fry it in advance of boiling it to bring out extra flavor and then season it once it has finished cooking with all of your favorite herbs and spices.