It's Time To Stop Sleeping On Chicken Powder

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Swapping in chicken broth or stock for water in a savory dish can elevate flavor like no other ingredient. It gives sauces that umami kick that it deserves, making you crave it over and over again. However, oftentimes when a recipe only calls for a cup of broth, you're left with a copious amount that usually takes up space in the fridge, only to eventually go bad. It's easy to assume that chicken bouillon cubes will prevent this problem, as they come packaged in a resealable container and stay good until activated in hot water, but what if we told you that we found an even shorter shortcut in a different form?

Chicken powder is the new chicken bouillon but without mirepoix flavors. According to Epicurious, chicken powder has a much purer flavor and is best when whipping up soup or anything with broth. Funny enough, Genevieve Yam with Epicurious discovered this savory superstar when questioning why the Chinese food she prepares tastes significantly different from her mother's. Turns out, she had been using chicken bouillon, which includes flavors from herbs, celery, and onion. Chicken powder was the secret ingredient all along because it tastes like chicken, and chicken only.

It adds another layer of savoriness

According to Taste Asian Food, it's an open secret among Chinese restaurants that they use chicken powder in their Chinese fried rice dishes. The same person who invented oyster sauce, a huge component in many Chinese dishes, created chicken powder. Lee Kum Sheung, a Chinese food stall operator back in the late 1880s, was whipping up a pot of oyster soup and accidentally left it simmering too long (via Bon App├ętit). When he realized, the liquid had reduced into a thick, caramelized sauce that was savory and richly delicious. From then, oyster sauce was born. He then started a company called Lee Kum Kee to manufacture and distribute not only oyster sauce but other authentic Chinese sauces and condiments worldwide, like chicken powder.

With this product being a rare find, it's hard to know if your local grocery store carries it. However, it's easily accessible online, found on Amazon for $12 and Yummy Bazaar for $14. While it's a great ingredient to use when preparing Chinese cuisine, it's also an easy add-in to chicken pot pie, posole, congee, or any type of savory soup you're preparing, states Epicurious. So instead of grabbing a carton of store-bought chicken stock, or even a tub of chicken bouillon cubes, remember that chicken powder can act as a super substitute that carries your dish further.