Guy Fieri Calls This Unexpected Ingredient the ‘Magic Flavor Enhancer’

Transform plain rice, soup, and more with this ingredient the chef always stocks in his pantry.

<p>Food & Wine / Craig Barritt / Getty Images for Waterloo Sparkling Water</p>

Food & Wine / Craig Barritt / Getty Images for Waterloo Sparkling Water

Chef, TV host, philanthropist, and donkey sauce inventor Guy Fieri is known for big flavors. So how does the self-professed mayor of Flavortown build flavor on a daily basis? At an event celebrating new non-alcoholic summer flavors like All-Day Rosé and Pi-Ño Colada from his partnership with Waterloo Sparkling Water, Fieri shared the one ingredient he always stocks in his pantry: chicken powder.

“Powdered chicken stock doesn’t go bad. I mean, it might go bad but it doesn’t go bad by the time I’m done using it,” Fieri told us. “It enhances flavor. A little tablespoon will elevate the regular everyday jasmine rice to the next level.”

He adds that you can use chicken powder as a stock substitute in lieu of chicken bouillon cubes, which are usually flavored with herbs and other seasonings.

“Where you would typically add chicken stock but you don’t wanna add the extra liquid, [this] little trick — I call it the little magic flavor enhancer. I’m just telling you, have it available,” he says. “A little sprinkle into a chicken dish that you’re making [will give you] that little flavor, a little sodium kiss.”

<p>Food & Wine / Courtesy of Amazon</p>

Food & Wine / Courtesy of Amazon

What is chicken powder?

Also called powdered chicken stock or chicken bouillon powder, chicken powder is typically made with dehydrated chicken stock, salt, and other ingredients that include umami-packed MSG. Unlike most chicken bouillon cubes, chicken powder doesn’t include extra spices or mirepoix, a.k.a. the carrot, celery, and onion you sauté in butter or oil to build flavor in soups or stews before adding your liquid. As such, it’s a great way to elevate the meaty, roasted chicken flavor of a dish without adding new herbs and spices to the mix.

Related: Stock vs. Broth: What’s the Difference?

While Fieri uses this budget-friendly pantry staple to season rice and other dishes, it’s been used in Chinese cooking for ages to flavor stir-fries, soups, and more. It has also long been popular in places where storage space is low, since it doesn’t require refrigeration or freezing like homemade stock and takes up less pantry real estate than boxed.

Powdered chicken stock can be dissolved in water as a chicken stock substitute when you don’t have time to make stock from scratch, or sprinkled over dishes for a hit of umami. Try it in broth-based soups and stews like congee and chicken pot pie, mix it into marinades and stir-fries, or use it to season rice and proteins. At the store, look for brands like Lee Kum Kee and Knorr

For more Food & Wine news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Food & Wine.