After browning, sautéing or roasting meat and vegetables, there are usually some caramelized bits of food stuck to the pan. These browned bits are packed with flavor and deglazing is an effective way in which you use liquid to extract flavor from those bits, so you can make a sauce or gravy. The process is very simple and is applicable to anything you are cooking. Deglazing instantly adds a deep, rich flavor to your dish.
- Your choice of liquid (wine, beer, brandy, cognac, stock, fruit juice or cream).
- Butter (optional)
- All-purpose flour (optional)
You can use any liquid, including plain water to deglaze. For a flavorful sauce, water should probably be your last resort.
- Ensure the bits stuck to your pan are browned or caramelized, not burnt. If the bits are blackened, you shouldn’t deglaze the pan as the liquid would taste burnt as well.
- Pour or wipe off fat from pan.
- Turn heat to high.
- Add enough liquid to barely cover the pan.
- Use a wooden utensil to scrape up bits from pan until all bits have dissolved and disappeared. The liquid should take on a brown color.
- Add butter to enrich sauce (optional).
- Add all purpose flour to thicken sauce (optional).
- Once it reaches the desired consistency, turn off heat.
- Adjust seasoning.
- Serve and enjoy.
Tips: when you deglaze, it is important you try to use thick, well-made cookware. This ensures you have more precise temperature control and the cookware doesn’t warp when you pour cold liquid into a hot pan.