Store-bought broths and stocks are certainly convenient, but they lack the silky texture and mouthfeel that you get from simmering bones for hours on end, extracting all of that wonderful collagen. To make the box stuff taste and feel more homemade, just add a little gelatin.
Photo by Stu Spivack.
It may not be the most glamorous ingredient, but gelatin can vastly improve the texture of a variety of foods, from silky pan sauces to juicy meatballs. Serious Eats has compiled a whole bunch of tasty uses (linked below), but perhaps the most useful shortcut is for jazzing up a pot of boring broth:
So, when you're not up for brewing a whole potful of gelatin-rich broth, you can simply bloom some powdered gelatin in boxed or canned stock — about one and a half teaspoons per cup of stock will do the trick. A quick simmer and a pat of butter later, you'll have a mouth-coating white wine and fines herbes or creamy morel mushroom pan sauce with a restaurant-quality texture.
Just like that, watery sub-par broth becomes a warm, rich soup or sauce, adding a decadent element to a weeknight meal.