Improvisational Adventures in the Kitchen, Part 2: In Which Rachael Ray Exonerates Herself


As you’ll no doubt recall, last night I roasted a chicken because I wanted to make Thanksgiving-style stuffing.

I put the Hoosic River bird breast-side-down in a mountain of stuffing, and roasted the crap out of it. Since I didn’t have any homemade broth to make the stuffing with, I used a box of Rachael Ray’s boxed chicken broth to moisten the bread cubes, which I’d liberally sprinkled with sage. The chicken turned out good, but the stuffing was nothing short of fantastic. The juices from the chicken (and the grease) had inundated the bread cubes, and also annealed them to the bottom of the glass baking dish. When pried off, they added a very nice crunch to the stuffing.

I’d only used a cup of Rachael, so I had half a box left. It had a plastic tab on top, allowing you to reseal it and store the balance in the refrigerator, but that’s the kind of thing that always gets pushed to the back of the refrigeration chamber, and starts to smell in a month or two.


Accordingly, I grabbed some green beans and threw them in a saucepan with the rest of the broth, added some salt and pepper, then threw in a big shallot and a couple of garlic cloves, then boiled the whole thing longer than one normally does. The beans tasted fantastic with their coating of thickened chicken broth.

In general, I’d say you’re much better off making your own broth, since Rachael Ray seems artificially thickened, and downright bland, compared to the clear fresh product you can make in 15 to 30 minutes on your own. Still, if the chicken parts (or vegetable scraps) are not around…

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