Ultimate Guide to Deglaze
Deglazing is one of those basic cooking techniques everyone should know, but many have never taken the time to learn properly. To “deglaze” is simply to pour cold liquid into a hot pan with the purpose of moving all the brown bits stuck on the pan from a previous cooking step.
It’s a common technique for making sauces and gravies, imparting a much richer flavor to them than they’d otherwise have. And – perhaps best of all – deglazing is easy, once you know how.
How To Deglaze
Before deglazing there must be brown bits of whatever you’ve just cooked (usually some sort of poultry or meat) still in the pan. The French call this “fond” and that fond offers lots of flavor.
However, you don’t want any burned bits in the pan.
- Begin by pouring off most of the fat left in the pan.
- Turn the heat to high.
- Once the pan is hot, add cold liquid. (If you’re using alcohol to the pan, first remove the pan from the heat source; put the pan back on heat once the alcohol is added.) The liquid will quickly come to a boil, removing much of the fond from the bottom of the pan.
- Scrape with a spatula or spoon to help the remainder of the fond rise from the bottom.
- Turn the heat down to medium and allow the liquid to reduce by about half.
- If you like, strain the liquid through a sieve to remove any solids.Now you have the basis for an excellent sauce. For ideas on how to proceed, check out Our Deer’s sauce recipes.
You can deglaze with nearly any type of liquid except diary products. (Milk and other diary curdle when they boil, ruining the flavor of the dish.)
Great choices for deglazing include:
- Brandy or cognac
- Stock or broth
- Cooking water (for example, if you just poached chicken in water, that water is a great deglazing liquid)
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