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Pan sauces are a simple way to take advantage of all the tasty bits that have stuck to the bottom of your pan. It’s effortless and can add layers of flavor to your dish. All you need to do is prepare your protein, remove it and use a liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pan before adding other herbs and spices. The trick is knowing what to add for each dish. Here are some quick, easy and delicious pan sauce recipes to try.
1. Thai Red Curry Chicken
This pan sauce is a little different because the entire pan ends up in the oven to finish cooking. All you have to do is brown your chicken, take it out of the pan, mix your sauce, and replace the chicken and toss it in the oven to bake. After 25 minutes, you’ve got a whole Thai curry dish that will make you think you’re in Thailand.
2. Chicken in Lemon Chive Sauce
Chicken and lemon go together beautifully. Start by browning your chicken. Once it’s well seared, remove it from the pan, mix your sauce ingredients and replace the chicken. Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes, then stir in some sour cream for a super creamy lemon-chive sauce.
3. Filet Mignon in Mushroom Wine Sauce
It’s important to note that this sauce will work for any cut of steak, so you don’t have to splurge on filet mignon to enjoy it. Start by cooking your mushrooms, because those take the longest, then prepare your steak to your preferred doneness. Finally, remove the steak and deglaze with half a cup of your favorite merlot — feel free to drink the rest!
4. Chicken With Spinach in Creamy Parmesan Sauce
You can never go wrong with a parmesan sauce. Start by browning your chicken, then remove the protein and mix the sauce in the same pan. Finally, add your spinach until it wilts and put the chicken back in the pan. It’s that simple — a whole meal in a single skillet.
5. Deer Steaks With Blackberry Pan Sauce
You’re not limited to chicken and beef when it comes to pan sauces. This recipe cooks the sauce in a separate pan, but if you want to soak up all that gamey goodness, start by cooking your steaks to your desired doneness, then deglazing the pan with half a cup of red wine before you start building your sauce.
6. Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce
Even fish can benefit from a well-crafted pan sauce. This recipe brings together basil, tomatoes, garlic and of course, a generous splash of white wine. Start by cooking your fish, then build your sauce in the pan. Finally, add the fish back into the pan so it can soak up all those fantastic flavors.
7. Pan-Seared Steak in Butter Sauce
This recipe takes a little while, but the result is worth it. Start by marinating your steak strips in Sriracha, pepper and soy sauce for at least 30 minutes — the longer, the better. Then cook the steak until browned, and build your butter sauce in the pan after removing the strips. You can even add the marinade if you want for extra flavor.
8. Pan-Seared Scallops With Lemon Caper Sauce
Scallops are delicious as an appetizer or a main course. All you have to do is pan-sear your scallops, then remove them from the skillet and build your sauce. You can even add white wine for an extra kick of flavor, though this is an optional step.
9. Chicken With Mushroom-Sherry Pan Sauce
Chicken, mushrooms, olives and butter — what’s not to love? This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you can easily substitute your favorite chicken cuts. From there, all you need to do is bread and cook the chicken, then build your sauce in the pan to soak up all that delicious flavor. Start by bringing the sherry to a boil until it reduces by half, then adding the rest of the sauce ingredients.
10. Takeout Fakeout Beef and Broccoli
Sometimes, going to the Chinese restaurant is more trouble than it’s worth. This takeout fakeout recipe tastes precisely like restaurant beef and broccoli without the expense or the MSGs. Cook your onions first, then add the meat and cook until browned. Add your broccoli and cook until tender. Finally, add your sauce — just soy sauce, brown sugar, flour, water, garlic and ginger — cook until it thickens and serve over rice.
Don’t wash your pan as soon as you’re done cooking your protein of choice. All those delicious flavors make a perfect addition to any pan sauce.