How to Deglaze a Pan Like a Pro

How to Deglaze a Pan Like a Pro

February 2, 2016

Deglazing is a great way to utilize leftover residue in a hot pan to make a delicious sauce to top meats and vegetables. While it might sound complicated, it’s an easy way to “build flavor” on your meals, says chef Vivian Howard.

In this video, Howard, the star of PBS show, “A Chef’s Life,” demonstrates how to properly deglaze a pan to produce an easy sauce for your dishes.

Deglazing basically involves using a liquid — water, wine, stock, or alcohol — to scrape up the flavorful brown bits of food left at the bottom of a pan after cooking.

The key here is using a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet to brown your food and produce your sauce. Never use a non-stick skillet. “The whole idea behind deglazing is having little brown bits accumulating in the bottom of your pan,” explains Howard, which are then incorporated into liquid and butter to make a sauce.

Watch the video to see exactly how Howard does it, then practice the technique to make her recipe for chicken with a quick pan sauce (below).

Makes 4 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Whisk together the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the paprika in a shallow bowl. Lightly and evenly coat the chicken in the flour mixture. Set aside in a single layer. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with tongs and brown the other side. Transfer to a clean plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine to the skillet. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook, until the liquid reduces by half, about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the mustard and the thyme. Check the seasoning. Spoon over chicken. Serve with lemon wedges. Serve warm.

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