How to Make Restaurant Quality Sauces

How to Make Restaurant Quality Sauces

The Secret to Great Pan Sauces

Deglazing is a fancy and intimidating word that means to pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits are where all the flavors are, and it is called “fond.”

Fond is French for “bottom,” so let’s stick to calling it fond!

How To Deglaze a Pan

You probably deglaze all the time without even realizing it:

arrow When you pour water into the roasting pan to make gravy

arrow When you add some chicken stock to a pan of sautéed onions

arrow When you pour some wine into the pan that you roasted the pork in

Now that you know what it is, let’s make sure you are doing all the steps correctly.

arrow Make sure that there is nothing burnt onto the pan you are going to deglaze—you are looking for deep brown bits, not blackened bits

arrow Pour off most of the fat in the pan.

arrow Turn the heat up to high.

arrow Add cold liquid to the hot pan—the liquid will come up to boiling very quickly, bringing up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan

arrow Using a spoon or spatula, scrape up the fond as the liquid boils

arrow Once the fond is dispersed throughout the liquid, turn down the heat

Important Tip:

It is important you remove the pan from the heat when adding any liquids with alcohol so you don’t end up with singed eyebrows. You can now use this mixture to create a wonderful sauce to accompany your meal.

Deglazing Liquids

Almost any liquid can be used for deglazing, although you should stay away from dairy. There is a good chance that dairy products can curdle when boiling, so stick with clear liquids.

Here’s a good list to start:

arrow Red or white wine

arrow Beer

arrow Stock—fish, chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.

arrow Broth

arrow Cooking liquid (water that you cooked beans in, for example)

arrow Cognac/brandy

arrow Fruit juice

arrow Vinegar

Of course, you can also use water to deglaze, but why would you when there are so many other flavorful liquids that you can use instead?

Pan Sauces

The technique of deglazing is especially useful when it comes to making pan sauces after you saute a piece of meat, chicken or fish.

G Stephen Jones