Whether you like your mashed potatoes lightly mashed and chunky or smooth and creamy with no lumps, using chicken broth in place of milk or cream makes them super flavorful. High-starch, low-moisture potatoes are best for mashing because their cells separate easily, letting them soak up more flavor. Choose russets, white potatoes or Yukon golds. For the best flavor, cook the potatoes whole with their skins on, and peel them after they're cooked.
What to Expect
Since chicken broth has very little fat compared to milk or cream, it makes mashed potatoes less creamy. Depending on the type of stock or broth, the potatoes will have a very slight hint of the savory chicken flavor. The stronger the broth's flavor, the more flavorful the potatoes will be.
Store-Bought or Homemade
You can use your favorite store-bought broth, or make your own.
To make chicken stock, gently simmer chicken bones with vegetables and enough water to cover all of the ingredients, about one hour. Strain the liquid through a colander and place the bowl of stock in the refrigerator. After a few hours, remove from the refrigerator and spoon out the layer of fat that has formed. Use the broth within two days, or freeze it for as long as three months.
Plan to use about 1 cup of chicken broth for each 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes. Warm the broth in a microwave or on the stove top, then add it in 1/4-cup increments to thoroughly cooked potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a vegetable masher between each addition of broth. You may end up using less chicken broth than you would milk or cream, as you don't want the potatoes to become watery. When mashed to your satisfaction, season with butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Variations and Additions
You can add other variations along with the chicken broth if you wish. For example, if you do want creamy potatoes, use half the amount of chicken broth and add buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt. Or amp up the flavor even more with roasted garlic, crumbled bacon or chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or dill. For extra tangy mashed potatoes, add about 1 cup of bleu cheese, or 1 tablespoon of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce for each 2 pounds of potatoes.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.