One of the easy ways to make a sauce for fried or sautéed meats is to deglaze the pan. Sounds fancy – isn’t. This also has the hidden advantage of leaving the pan clean as a whistle – you won’t need to do more than wipe it dry. Here’s how it works.

Cook the meat in the fry pan as usual. Don’t worry about burnt bits and stuff sticking to the pan. In fact, encourage them, they are full of flavor. You can do this by using a hot pan, or very little cooking fat. Trouble is, hot pans spatter grease all over. Oh, well. This also doesn’t work as well in a non-stick pan. Onward…

When the meat is done, put it on a platter to rest. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, remove all but a few tbsp. Reduce the heat to medium. Add any onions or shallots you want in the sauce and fry them, then add any mushrooms. The mushrooms will soak up all the remaining fat, but let them stay in the pan for a while until they start to give back the fluid they have soaked up (you can see the steam). Try not to let all the liquids evaporate.

Now, turn the heat to high and add about ¼ cup of white wine (red works, too). You can also add a little chicken bouillon (powdered) or chicken stock. (Beef stock is also possible and gives a heavier flavor.)

Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the goo on the bottom of the pan and let it dissolve in the wine. The liquids will reduce fairly quickly. Boil until the sauce begins to thicken, take the meat out of the oven, pour the sauce over it and serve.

Run the pan under hot water and dry it. You will find that it comes clean almost every time.

Be careful; if you do this too often, you will get the reputation of being a good cook.

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