Sunday, January 17, 2010


Sometimes fancy recipes ask you to "deglaze" your pan. That sounds pretty complicated, but it isn't. Basically, to deglaze a pan, you pour cold liquid into your hot pan.
That's easy!
Why?  To make a sauce, or to otherwise catch all the flavorful stuff on the bottom of your pan.

You can use this in one of my favorite "whatever happens to be in the fridge" concoctions.

chicken breasts, or pork chops, or fish, or whatever
onion, minced
garlic, chopped. fresh is best but a jar works too.
spices like basil, thyme, marjoram, "Italian blend", etc
salt and pepper
red wine
chicken broth (or chicken bullion dissolved in hot water)
other veggies, if handy. For example, I use green pepper, chopped into 1" pieces.

1) heat olive oil or butter in a skillet
2) heat spices until "aromatic", i.e., until you can smell them. try not to burn them.
3) add onion, stir for a while (1-2 minutes)
4) add garlic, sautee until the onions are clear
5) add meat, and cook it until it's done (depends on the type of meat)
6) add about a glass of red wine. be careful-- it's best to add alcoholic liquids away from open flames or heat sources, so take it off the stove. But leave the stove on medium high.
The wine should boil fast; let it. Stir it, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to get all that good stuff on there, and stir it into the sauce. This is two fancy things: deglazing the pan, and making a reduction!
7) Let the wine cook down for a few minutes. Add chicken broth if you want a thinner sauce, or just more of it. Let it simmer together for a while. Add the other veggies if you want.
8) Let it cook until the sauce looks right, and tastes right. Serve with a starch-- rice, pasta, couscous, polenta, baked potatoes, whatever. Yum.

Time: ~30 minutes, if you have defrosted your meat.

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