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How to Make a Pan Sauce

Learn how to make a pan sauce for an easy chicken dinner with our how-to cooking video. Get step-by-step instructions, plus cooking tips on how to adapt this recipe with other meats and ingredients.

Thu, 14 May 2009|

-Hi, I'm Teri Tsang, the food editor here at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. And I'm going to teach you how to make a pan sauce. And so, we're gonna start by removing your chicken from the pan and just set it over on your serving plate for rest while you're making the pan sauce. And next, we're gonna add the shallots. And at this point, you just want to cook the shallots until they're translucent, which will take about 1 minute. And you don't want them to brown or end up getting burned. And once your shallots are translucent, you're gonna deglaze with a half cup of white wine. And at this point, you wanna scratch up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and the brown bits are basically where all the flavors at. They're also called fond. And at this point, you wanna cook off the wine until it's reduced and syrupy. So once the wine is basically reduced, you can add about a cup of chicken stock and then from here, you just wanna bring the chicken stock to a boil and let it reduce about halfway and turn up the heat if you need to. And the best part about learning how to make a pan sauce is that once you've learned how to make it using these basics, you can switch off to any other protein such as beef, scallops, pork. And you can also substitute the liquid using other forms of alcohol such as sherry or brandy. The one thing to remember when cooking with other types of alcohol is that when you add a cherry or brandy to the pan, you need to remove it off the heat; otherwise, it might go up in flames. And now that we finished reducing the stock to about halfway, at this point, you can add back in any juices that have been released from the meat. And in this case with the chicken, you just wanna hold your tongs. And these juices are filled with flavor. So, it's really important to get them back into the pan and then from here just stir the juices in, grab your 2 tablespoons of butter and then season it with a little bit of salt. And once the sauce is thickened, you've got a pan sauce. You can just pour it right over the chicken and you're all set. Dinner in 15 minutes.