can you cook chicken in beef broth

The Savory Secret to Cooking Chicken in Beef Broth

As a busy home cook, I’m always seeking ways to amp up flavor and convenience in my recipes One secret weapon I love is using beef broth to cook chicken The rich, meaty broth infuses heaps of savory flavor into chicken dishes, and you can make a batch ahead of time.

Some people may think you can only cook chicken in chicken broth. However, using beef broth to cook chicken offers some surprising benefits. Keep reading to learn why it works, helpful tips to balance flavors, what dishes it’s best for, and how to cook chicken to perfection in beef broth.

Why Cooking Chicken in Beef Broth Works

Here are the main reasons using beef broth to cook chicken is a winning combo:

  • Adds hearty savory flavor – The rich umami taste of beef broth permeates the mild chicken.

  • Convenience – Make ahead and use for various chicken recipes. Store-bought beef broth saves prep time.

  • Deeper color – The darker broth caramelizes and browns chicken for a more appetizing appearance.

  • Nutrition – Bone broth offers vitamins, minerals, and collagen from beef bones.

  • Versatility – Suitable for simmering, braising, stewing, poaching, or cooking rice.

The hearty flavor and convenience of beef broth is a simple way to upgrade bland chicken to rich and delicious. Next, let’s look at some tips for balance.

Tips for Balancing Flavors

When cooking chicken in beef broth, keep these tips in mind:

  • Limit to 1/2 to 3/4 broth – Cut the broth with water or wine so the beefy taste doesn’t overwhelm.

  • Add acidity – Brighten with a splash of lemon juice, vinegar, or white wine.

  • Use aromatics – Onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley.

  • Finish with cream or butter – This rounds out flavors and mellows the beefiness.

  • Taste and adjust – Gradually tweak broth amount, salt, pepper, and other seasonings until perfect.

With the right balance of beefy richness and bright, aromatic flavors, chicken simmers to perfection in beef broth.

Best Chicken Dishes to Cook in Beef Broth

Here are some of my favorite ways to use beef broth when cooking chicken:

  • Braised chicken thighs – Richer than white meat and won’t dry out.

  • Chicken and dumplings or pot pie – Flaky biscuits or pie crust soak up the gravy.

  • Chicken stew or chili – Tender pieces shine in chunky tomato- or veggie-based stews.

  • Shredded chicken – Poach or braise first for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, casseroles.

  • Chicken and rice – Infuses every grain with flavor.

  • Chicken soup – Classics like chicken noodle, matzo ball, tortilla, and vegetable.

For any recipe calling for chicken in sauce, gravy, or broth, you can easily sub in beef broth for heightened flavor.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Follow these simple steps for cooking chicken in beef broth:

  1. Choose your cut of chicken – Bone-in parts like thighs, drumsticks, and breasts or boneless skinless breasts cut into bite-sized pieces all work well.

  2. Prepare aromatics – Chop onions, carrots, celery, and any herbs or garlic. This builds a flavor base.

  3. Sear the chicken – Brown chicken pieces first in a skillet with oil for caramelization and flavor.

  4. Add beef broth and aromatics – Use a ratio of 1/2 to 3/4 broth to 1/4 water or wine.

  5. Simmer until cooked – Partially cover and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 10-30 minutes depending on cut.

  6. Thicken if needed – Mix in a slurry of cornstarch and water or flour and butter to thicken.

  7. Adjust seasonings – Taste and add any needed salt, pepper, herbs, or acidity for optimal flavor.

  8. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes – The rich gravy created is ideal for serving over starches.

With this easy process, you’ll end up with fork-tender chicken infused with beefy flavor and aromatic vegetables in a savory, comforting broth.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does beef broth make chicken taste different?

Yes, beef broth will impart a savory, umami flavor as it permeates the chicken. The flavor won’t be as pronounced once other seasonings are added.

  1. Is beef broth or chicken broth healthier?
    Both contain collagen and nutrients from animal bones. Chicken broth has less fat and cholesterol while beef broth provides more protein and iron.

  2. Can I use beef broth cubes to cook chicken?
    Yes, dissolve broth cubes or powders in water to create instant beef broth for cooking chicken. Two cubes per 4 cups of water approximates a full-strength broth.

  3. How long does chicken take to cook in broth?
    Cooking time depends on the cut. Whole bone-in pieces take 25-45 mins. Boneless breasts take 10-15 mins. Cook until chicken reaches 165°F internal temperature.

  4. Can I freeze and reheat chicken cooked in beef broth?
    Yes, you can safely freeze chicken dishes made with beef broth for 2-3 months. Reheat individual portions until 165°F.

Take your chicken dinners from bland to bold with the savory secret of cooking in beef broth. With this guide’s tips, you’ll become a pro at infusing chicken with rich, hearty flavor in no time!

Classic Chicken Broth/Stock | Chef Jean-Pierre


Can I use beef broth when cooking chicken?

The answer is yes. Both chicken broth and beef broth will work for either recipe, but…and that’s a big but, don’t expect the soup or the sauce in this recipe to be as rich or quite as flavorful as beef broth.

Can chicken be cooked in broth?

Boiling your chicken in chicken broth is how to instantly up the flavor. — Season it. Place your chicken breasts in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and add enough liquid to cover the chicken. Season your liquid well with salt and pepper—this is very crucial.

What can I use if I don’t have chicken broth?

Vegetable broth is a simple one-to-one substitute that can stand in just about anywhere. This broth is made by steeping vegetables or vegetable scraps—and sometimes spices—instead of chicken in water.

Is it OK to use chicken stock instead of beef broth?

Yes! You can use beef or chicken stock as a beef or chicken broth alternative. What’s the difference? Stock is made by simmering roasted beef or chicken bones for a long time, a process that extracts the collagen from the bones and gives the stock a slightly gelatinous texture, plus rich beef or chicken flavor.

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