How To Make a Simple Sauce

Chef Jenna Helwig demonstrates how to make an easy pan sauce that pumps up the flavor of a meal.


-Hi. I'm Jenna Helwig, personal Chef and parent's contributor. A pan sauce is a wonderful way to add flavor to your dishes and the best part is you make it in the same pan that you've cook your meat in so you don't have extra dishes to wash later. So the first step is, remove all of your meat or fish or chicken as I'm using from the pan and you'll see on the pan that you have all of this beautiful brown bits, make sure you'll leave them there. This is what's going to add a lot of flavor to your sauce. So you wanna make sure you have about a tablespoon of fat in your pan. If you have too much, throw some away. If you need more add a little bit of olive oil or butter. So I'm gonna turn the heat on to about medium and add some aromatics. This could be shallots or some minced onions or some garlic and I'm just going to stir until these are soft and fragrance, usually takes about a minute or so. So the next step is to add some liquid to the pan. I'm using chicken broth but you could use wine or you could use some juice. So add as much as you think you need to make a sauce for your dinner. And when I turn the heat up to high because I really want this to boil and I'm going to scrape the bottom of the pan with my spoon to lift up all of these lovely brown bits. This is called deglazing and this is what's gonna add so much flavor to your sauce. Make sure you use a wooden spoon because this way as you're scraping you won't scratch the bottom of your pan. You're gonna let this cook until it's reduced by about half. You wanted to just coat your meat nicely. Finally, remove it from the heat and add a thickener, I like to use butter so just stir your butter into the sauce, pour it over the chicken and as a finishing touch, I'd like to use some green herbs on top. You could use parsley or tarragon, I've got some chives here and there you have it, beautiful pan sauce.

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