Chef's Hat: For flavor, reach for that bottle of Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a compliment that is in most cupboards and that can add a large amount of flavor to recipes from salads to stews

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Let’s face it, a lot of people believe the only seasonings any dish needs is a bit of salt and pepper.

The end result of this chain of thought is a bland and boring dish, which sometimes is barely edible.

Spices, herbs and various sauces have been around for hundreds, and even thousands. of years. Adding a bit of rosemary, sage or a favored vinegar can go a long way to making a boring dish into a mouth-watering delicacy.

Worcestershire sauce is a compliment that is in most cupboards, but seems only to be used for Caesar salads and the occasional way to spruce up a steak.

This is sad because a small amount of this simple sauce can add a large amount of flavor to recipes from salads to stews. A teaspoon or two of this condiment adds a savory taste and increases the flavor of macaroni and cheese, crab cakes, almost any soup or stew, and even adds a kick to plain salad dressings.


In the early 1830s, an English Lord commissioned John Lea and William Perrins to develop a sauce similar to a savory Indian sauce. The two did develop a fish and vegetable mixture somewhat comparable to the sauce that Lord remembered having in India.

However, the batch had a strong odor and was hidden away in a cellar to age and then was quickly forgotten about for two years.

When it was discovered, the mixture had aged wonderfully and was soon bottled and became popular. To commemorate where it was first made, the sauce was named after the town of Worcester, England.

A bottle of Worcestershire sauce does not have a hefty price tag. But for those who prefer the homemade version, this sauce is simply a combination of white wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and a few spices.

The sauce is quite easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

The good thing about this sauce is that it only requires a spoonful or two to enhance the quality of a dish.

If you are not used to the meaty or savory quality of a sauce, it's best to start by using just a small amount, such as a half a teaspoon, in your dishes. Then gradually increase it to the amount recommended in the recipe.

Pull out that seldom used Worcestershire sauce and start sprucing up those dull recipes. Anything from a bloody mary to barbecue sauce to meatloaf can be enriched with a splash of Worcestershire sauce.


Start a new tradition with this unique condiment. Happy Eating!

Homemade Sauce

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Place a medium saucepan on the stove. Put all of the ingredients in the pan. Bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low and simmer for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. Store sauce in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks.

Marinated Chicken Thighs

Chef's Hat sauce.jpg
Use Worcestershire sauce to liven up recipes, like Marinated Chicken Thighs shown in February 2023.
Donna Evans / Echo Journal Correspondent

  • 4 to 6 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Place the chicken in a container that has a tight fitting lid. Mix all of the remaining ingredients (except the nonstick spray) in a measuring cup and mix well. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Place the lid on the container and put the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and drain off the marinade.

Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and flip over the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees.

Remove the pan from the oven. Turn the oven to broil. Once heated, place the chicken back into the oven and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, just until the chicken is browned and crispy. Remove the chicken from oven and let it set 5 minutes before serving.

Italian Salad Dressing


  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons real maple syrup (do not use pancake syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 small cloves of garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic

Combine all ingredients in a jar that has a tight fitting lid. Shake the jar vigorously to make sure the ingredients are well mixed. If not using immediately, place the jar in the refrigerator. Before using, shake the jar again to make sure everything is well mixed. Used on any type of green salad or pasta salad.

Donna Evans is an Echo Journal correspondent.

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