Chicken Stock Recipes for 200
Ask-a-Caterer Replies to:

AnnaLee from Roanoke, Virginia, who asked:

AnnaLee writes: “Our question is a large quantity food issue. For our School’s Harvest Banquet, three of the recipes call for chicken stock. So we will need lots of chicken stock for the recipes and some extra just in case, probably 10 gallons or more. We think this would be the minimum for the 200 adults we expect to attend, plus some children.

How do restaurants and caterers come up with this much stock?” You must go through a lot of stock, chicken and other kinds too. Do you buy canned? That will cost us a fortune. Please help! AnnaLee

Ask-a-Caterer Replies: Hello to Virginia! - good luck on your Banquet.

Yeah AnnaLee, that’s what we do, boil chickens all day - big pot out back... NO - just kidding. :-) And you’re right, we use lots of stock in many flavors.

Canned Stock is out of the question. It just doesn’t taste good. We’ve tried it time and again, listened to every sales pitch on the planet it seems. Forget about it.

Bullion cubes? Check out the salt content. “Salt” is the first listed ingredient! Besides, we’d be peeling cubes all day. Forget that too.

So how do we do these chicken stock recipes and others:

Cooking Bases

We use ‘meat-first’ bases for cooking. Bases are highly concentrated food reductions which often resemble a paste, and are usually sold in one pound containers. Each pound of base will make approx 4 gallons of stock, so you typically use a small amount.

Bases are not bullion cubes, or a highly salt/sodium flavor additive. They are true food. Chicken base, for example, is the end result of cooking down chickens. The first ingredient of chicken base is “chicken,” which is why we call them ‘meat-first’ bases. Several bases are also available as reduced sodium.

Use bases as a way to make stock, or add them directly to foods. Bases add rich depth of flavor to nearly any savory dish.

Here is a collection of Recipes for Cooking with Bases. This is the real professional insider stuff - it’s how restaurants and caterer’s do their magic.

These products are available from
We use Amazon because of their wonderful customer service and excellent pricing:

There are many ‘meat-first’ bases available in addition to Chicken, Vegetable and Beef. Pork, Ham, Seafood, Turkey, Bacon, Mushroom, Lobster, Clam and several more are easy to find, including other brands such as Knorr, Vogue, McCormick, etc. We like Minor.

If you want more options about bases, go to They are the supplier for Amazon, and have a huge variety of other products. And, if you are ordering several bases to have in your fridge, they will give you a much better deal on shipping.

Bases give foods that “professional, “restaurant-quality” edge. Once you start cooking with bases, you won’t ever go back. They provide excellent flavor profiles without excessive sodium. We have several in the fridge at home which we use for everyday cooking; they last for months when refrigerated.

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