With their chemical aftertaste, cube broths waste your time and money

Dear Lynne, 

Why is everyone all over bouillon cubes? Cooks hate them. Evidently if I try risotto with cube broth the sky will fall in. 

–Jason in Salt Lake


The sky won’t fall in, but the risotto will taste lousy. If you are going to cook, you deserve better. There’s no lusciousness, no “this is so good I want to slurp it up” to most cube broths.

When a dish is built on great broth, like in a simple risotto or a brothy soup, cubes waste your time and money. They don’t deliver the quality to match your efforts or the other ingredients.

Worst of all, the cube's salty, chemical aftertaste lingers on the tongue for what seems like an eternity.

Instead of the cube, do the can. This “doctored” canned broth with its wine reduction trick offers up big tastes for little time. You will love it in risotto.


Quick Chicken Stock with Wine Reduction

  • Makes about 5 cups and doubles easily
  • 10 minutes prep time; about 40 minutes stove time


  • 1-1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 canned tomato
  • 1 bay leaf, broken
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry basil
  • 3 cans (14-ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium to large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 large stalk celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 medium carrot, coarsely chopped


1. In a 4-quart pot, combine wine, garlic, tomato, bay leaf, and basil. Simmer 8 minutes, or until the wine is almost entirely evaporated.

2. Add broth and remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer very gently 30 minutes. Strain the broth before using it.

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