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5 Minute Pan Sauce

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 2 min
Cook Time: 5 min


  • Fat drippings and brown bits from just cooked chicken, pork, beef, or fish
  • ½ Cup Wine (Red or white will both work but using red will turn your meat or veggies red too)
  • ½ Cup Stock
  • 2 cloves of Garlic or 1 Tablespoon minced Shallot or Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Additional herbs such as Thyme, Sage, Rosemary (optional)


  1. Smash your garlic cloves and the peel should pop right off (or mince your shallot or onion). Put your pan that contains the drippings onto a burner over medium heat. If there’s not very much fat left in the pan add one Tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil.
  2. When the oil or fat gets hot (You can check this by tipping the pan, if the oil/fat runs fast and has little ripples through it, it’s hot!), add the garlic cloves and saute for roughly one minute. If using herbs, go ahead and add those too.
  3. Pour your wine into the hot pan to deglaze it and stir, stir, stir, scraping the bottom until all the little brown, delicious bits of flavor come loose off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add your stock and turn your heat up to medium high. Simmer the liquid until it reduces to a consistency slightly thicker than soup broth.
  5. Turn the pan off and stir in the butter, then taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Discard the garlic cloves and serve over your protein, your veggies, or just eat it out of the pan. Enjoy!

Note: This makes a very small amount of sauce but it’s so rich, a couple tablespoons is one serving.

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Make It...

  1. Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.

Savannah Says...

  1. What is Deglaze?

    1. Deglaze:
      Pouring liquid into a hot pan to loosen the flavorful bits stuck to the bottom after cooking meat or vegetables at a very hot temperature.
  2. What is Reduce?

    1. Reduce:
      Cooking the water out of something by boiling it off in the form of steam. This will also slightly thicken what you are reducing.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

You know those scenes in a movie where the videographer captures the smash of a garlic, the sizzle of mushrooms in a hot pan, a flame touching to alcohol and sparking to life? Anytime I make this pan sauce I picture myself in one of those scenes. It’s a beautiful, simple sauce that makes you feel like a culinary genius. Unfortunately, anytime I hear the words “pan sauce” I accidentally drool a little bit, which probably inhibits my chances of being in one of those inspiring movie clips. Oh well, we all can’t I suppose.

But back to pan sauce. I am a firm believer that this pan sauce can and will, enhance anything you put it on. Chicken, pork, vegetables - heck, you could wipe it off your face with a napkin and sell the napkin for five bucks. (You did not get that idea from me). All you need is a bit of fond (fond is the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan after cooking meat or veggies) and a little wine and you’re ready to roll. In the pan sauce.

I've often asked myself, what makes this pan sauce so good? And here’s your answer; You’re bringing out the flavor 6 different ways. So I made a list that shows you exactly what is happening in the 5 minute’s it takes to whip up this sauce:

  1. Sugar - You start with bits of meat that have been cooked until the sugars in them caramelized.
  2. Fat - From the meat or fat from a cooking oil helps carry the flavor of number #3.
  3. Aromatics - Such as garlic, shallot or onion, create a flavor foundation for the sauce.
  4. Alcohol - Alcohol bonds to the fat and water molecules bringing out the flavor.
  5. Butter - Butter is another fat which will carry all the flavors you’ve just added.
  6. Salt - Salt opens up your taste buds so you can savor all that flavor!
So there you go! You’re now a culinary genius and the best part is, you can apply these six techniques to anything you want to make. Enjoy!

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