I was surprised since the chicken never touched the water but I guess it dropped some of its juices in it, I was doing a small batch and I tried to taste it but after adding some salt it just tasted salty, so If I make a larger batch in less water and the result comes out more concentrated could this taste good and be considered a broth ?

  • FWIW, I know of a dish that's kinda like this. A small, covered pot of chicken is steamed until fully cooked, and there will be soup coming from the chicken left in the pot. What you proposed likely wouldn't be broth, but would probably make a decent soup.
    – xuq01
    Jul 17 '18 at 16:12

Broth is usually defined as having had bones/meat/veg boiled in it, so the dictionary says no. The lack of flavour also says no, and I doubt reducing it would make much difference. You could use the water to make broth or stock, if you have bones/vegetables to hand.

What's more likely to have happened is that condensation dripped into the water. This will always happen unless you take steps to prevent it, as the chicken is cooler than the steam, causing water to condense on the surface (more obvious with steaming green veg). This water dripping would carry small amounts of protein (e.g. myoglobin from dark meat) into the water, and it doesn't take much of many proteins to make water cloudy (this is why milk is white, or a few drops of milk make water cloudy). Small particles of fat will also contribute if they run into the water.

  • 1
    Just as an FYI, the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't mention bones on its definition of broth...'The liquid in which anything has been boiled, and which is impregnated with its juice; a decoction; esp. that in which meat is boiled or macerated; also a thin soup made from this with the addition of vegetables, pearl barley, rice, etc., as Scottish ‘broth’.'
    – Spagirl
    Jul 18 '18 at 9:48
  • @Spagirl it's an outlier in that case (I checked a couple of dictionaries), but one that I agree with. Perhaps my small amount of Scottish heritage prefers the "thin soup with bits in" definition. Still, something has to have been boiled in it
    – Chris H
    Jul 18 '18 at 10:29
  • 1
    That may be the first time the OED has ever been called an outlier for English language! However, if you prefer a more Scottish slant, Chambers has 'water in which vegetables and meat, etc have been boiled, used as soup or (in laboratories, often with other substances added) as a medium for culture of bacteria. ORIGIN: old English broth, from brēowan to brew.'. If bones were explicit in 'broth', the ubiquitous 'bone broth' would be tautological. Chambers does mention bones for 'stock' and that's the distinction I draw, stock needs bones, broth not so much. :)
    – Spagirl
    Jul 18 '18 at 10:53
  • @Spagirl I suspect Google oversamples recent/American sources (and I looked at the summary. In fact Cambridge has a thin soup, often with vegetables or rice in it, usually made with the liquid in which meat bones have been boiled as US (though Collins gives it as a synonym for stock in British English). As far as I'm concerned "bone broth" is just a rebranding of traditional stock to make it seem new. (wording tweaked)
    – Chris H
    Jul 18 '18 at 12:17

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