How to Deglaze
Deglazing is to lift the flavorful bits of food (fond) stuck to the bottoms of pans after sautéing. One difference between restaurant chefs and home cooks is that a home cook will look at a pan they just sauteed some mushrooms or some chicken in and said, "that's dirty," and wash it.
The chef will look at the same pan and say, "That's flavor," and then incorporate it into a sauce. This is accomplished by deglazing.
To deglaze, add a small amount (one quarter to half a cup will do) of flavorful liquid, such as stock, wine, vinegar, or fruit juice, to a hot pan. The liquid will boil almost immediately.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently scrape up the fond and incorporate it into your sauce. You can either deglaze an empty pan or leave the food in the pan while you deglaze.
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