The basic technique for making a sauce that
incorporates the fond found in saute pans is to remove any excess fat or
oils. Add aromatic ingredients or garnish items that need to be cooked,
such as garlic, shallots, mushrooms, ginger and so forth. Then, deglaze
the pan, releasing the reduced drippings from the pan. Wines, cognac,
water or broths can be used for this step. Whatever liquid is added now is
allowed to reduce. That means that fortified wines should be reserved
until later, since their flavors are best when not allowed to reduce.
The base sauce is added at this point, along
with any other ingredients as desired to add flavor, texture and color.
Finishing ingredients such as cream, butter, purees or vegetables or
herbs, or fortified wines are all appropriate.
In many cases, chefs opt to return the main
item (a chicken breast or veal scallop, for example) to the finished sauce
briefly. This glazes and coats the item, as well as reheats it very
gently. The sauce may be ladled directly onto the plate, forming a pool;
the sauteed item is placed on the sauce. Or, the sauce may be ladled over
the food. Be sure that any stray spots or drips are carefully wiped from
the plate using a clean cloth wrung out in hot water.