Cooks have long used chicken broth or stock to add flavor to a variety of dishes. When broth or stock is unavailable or inconvenient, many cooks use chicken bouillon granules instead. They add similar flavor without the expense of canned broths or the inconvenience of homemade chicken stock.
Chicken bouillon comes in the form of cubes or granules. Manufacturers combine chicken stock or broth with seasonings, vegetables and fat, and then dehydrate the mixture. The processed granules become a concentrated form of the stock and additional ingredients.
Using chicken granules instead of fresh broth offers several advantages. The granules generally cost less than a fresh or canned broth. Cooks usually only need a small amount for one dish, since the flavor is so concentrated. Chicken granules also have a longer shelf life than broth or stock, so many people keep them as a convenient pantry item or as part of a food storage supply.
Though convenient, chicken granules also come with disadvantages. Their flavor does not compare well with that of a fresh stock, which generally has less sodium. As a processed food, they also sometimes contain unhealthy amounts of salt and other additives.
Chicken granules work best in soups or stews, but can also add flavor to other dishes. They can add flavor to rice, couscous or other grains. You can also use them to make gravy, pot pie or chicken casseroles. Substitute the granules for any recipe that calls for chicken stock or broth to achieve similar flavor.
Based in Nashville, Tenn., Kristin Fitzgerald has been a freelance writer since 2011. She focuses on cooking, DIY projects, history, education and politics. Fitzgerald earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and German from the University of Southern Mississippi.