Deglazing a pan after sautéing foods can provide the basis of a very flavorful sauce. Once you have transferred the cooked food and before the pan has a chance to cool down, add a little water or wine, swirl it, and deglaze using a spatula to work in small morsels that may have adhered to the bottom. Then add seasonings and salt to taste.

If you want to thicken the sauce, you could use cornstarch or flour, but arrowroot or tapioca starch will give a nice luster to vegetables. But whatever you do, don’t add any of these dry powders to an already hot liquid or they will lump.

The best way that I've found to go about it is to put a few tablespoons of powder into a cup and dissolve it in a little cold water. Then raise the temperature of the sauce, add the liquid thickener a little at a time and stir continuously as it begins to thicken, preferably with a wire whisk. Make sure you bring it up to a boil or it will have a grainy or powdery texture. If it is too thick, add water; too thin, add more thickener.

I much prefer this method of making a sauce over using a roux because it is lighter and just as flavourful.

I tend to disagree with the advantages of a "slurry" (mix of starch and water) over a roux.

There is a time to use one, and a time to use the other.

A roux can be used to add body and flavor to a sauce. Also roux thickening is near instant while starches take a bit of time to bind a sauce together. A roux will also add an opaque quality to your sauce, which is sometimes desired. Roux-thickened sauces are excellent for dishes with rich flavors (red meat, salmon, etc..)

A slurry is excellent when you want a clear or translucent sauce. Also they can be used in sauces which have a very delicate balance of flavor that may be disrupted by a roux (cornstarch, arrowroot and potato starch have very little flavor on their own). Chinese cooking uses this technique, and the high-heat nature of chinese cooking takes away the slurry disadvantage of slow thickening times.

Well this node is about deglazing, and it's an excellent technique to use when making a sauce, although I discourage the use of water for this practice. Wine is common, but stock (or broth) can also be used, and add more flavor to the dish. Really almost any liquid will do, it really depends on what the end flavor you want is.

De*glaze" (?), v. t.

To remove the glaze from, as pottery or porcelain, so as to give a dull finish.


© Webster 1913

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