How to Make a Pan Sauce

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How to Make a Pan Sauce

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After searing meat, poultry or fish in a cast iron or stainless steel pan, there are often small browned pieces of food still stuck to the pan. These floor-packed bits are called fond, and with a bit of aromatics, liquid and fat, you can create a complementary sauce.

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  1. Once your protein has been removed from the pan, add desired aromatics such as shallots or garlic; cook over medium heat until fragrant.

  2. Deglaze or release the food residue in the hot skillet by pouring in about 1/2 cup of the liquid such as wine, broth or water. Use a spatula to scrape browned bits from skillet.

  3. Add about 3/4 cup liquid such as broth or stock and simmer over medium-high heat until liquid has reduced by about half or until sauce coats the back of a spoon.

  4. Remove skillet from heat; whisk in butter to emulsify the liquids, giving the sauce a smooth, velvety texture also with additional flavor.