Store-Bought Chicken Stock?

Chicken Stock: To Buy or Make?

Chicken stock is a subtly essential staple of the kitchen—from soups to sauces to sauteés, you’re going to need it. Fancy up whole-wheat rice, cut down on butter for mashed potatoes, or improve a delicious roast; simply having it on hand will open up uses you never thought of.

The best chefs will tell you that the very best chicken stock is the one you make yourself. But when we reach for a ready-made stock in the store, we like to use Swanson’s Low Sodium Chicken Stock. Sorry for the plug, but it really is the cleanest tasting, most flavorful we have tried so far. And yes, make sure it’s low sodium!

It’s not just the kidney- or heart-conscious eaters who will thank you; when you make your sauces and gravies, you’ll have to reduce the stock. Simmering to reduce a stock removes the water, intensifying the meaty flavor but also intensifying everything, including the salt. And when what you’ve got is already salty, as regular stock is, you end up with a very salty concentrate.

Good luck in your chicken stock adventures!