I was trying to do some research on this last night as I was putting together a batch of "cheater" ramen (A Test Kitchen style Tonkatsu that involves making a quick broth with chicken broth, ground pork ribs, garlic, ginger and onions). I didn't have any homemade stock on hand and I had to use boxed stock. I was hoping to create a dish that would at least be shadow of ramen greatness to ease my unending first trimester desires for noodle soups...
Since I was taking so many shorrtcuts, I wondered if I could simulate the viscous quality of really good ramen by adding a bit of Knox...and if so how much should I add?
I looked on google, that led me to the CH message boards where the general answer is "why do that, just use chicken feet!".
So I tried it and I have two announcements:
First is that the Test Kitchen recipe makes the best Ramen to be had at home in less than an hour. It sort of leans on the Miso for the flavor (the stock isn't complete enough to stand on it's own)- but if I ordered it at a local spot and I had a bowl of what I made-I would definitely go back.
Two- adding a packet of Knox elevated the stock to new heights- it made the stock viscous and rich. Tasting the broth before and after the stock was like night and day: it went from being "pretty tasty" to "holy cow I can't believe I made this in my kitchen."
So- if you are stuck using canned/ boxed broth in a quick recipe and it needs that bit if silky ooomph and you have no chicken feet on hand for such emergencies- a bit of unflavored gelatin might actually do the trick.