Week 34 – Pan Sauces

AKA the challenge where Janine learns a lot about kitchen disasters.

I had no real clue about what a pan sauces was before this started.  I mean, I’d heard of them, and I assumed that they were exactly what it says on the tin: sauces made in a pan.

A pan sauce is made from the bits of meat and fat that are suck on to the pan when you’re cooking meat.  You add some spices, a liquid to “de-glaze” the pan (get the bits off the pan and into the liquid for flavor), and something to thicken it back up. How to Make a Pan Sauce this Bon Appetit article has a great overview on pan sauces.

So I found a recipe, and had a few friends over for some apartment happy hour. 

Lime Cilantro Skillet Chicken was my choice. 


Chopped colantro. 


The rest of the ingredients. 


Browning the chicken on my oven-proof, untreated skillet. 


Liz made some rice in her very fancy rice cooker. 

Once the chicken is browned, I took the skillet off the heat (but still left the burner on) to deglaze the pan. 

More deglazing. At this point the skillet is sitting on a crocheted hot pad. This is important. 

You know when you’re reading blogs, or articles, and people manage to catch a picture of the “crazy thing that happened”? I’m never quite sure how they manage that. Even though there were 3 of us in the kitchen, the only evidence I have of what happened next  are these two pictures. 


I moved the skillet back onto the burner, and with it, the crocheted hot pad made of synthetic yarn. 

There was smoke, an awful stench, and yelling. Chad (our hangover cure guest blogger) managed to get the smoking melting mess off the burner and into the sink, while Liz & I opened all the windows and tried to wave the smoke outside. (Minutes later a fire truck drove past, but it wasn’t for us). 


After a small break we persevered, putting the sauce into another skillet. Once the sauce was ready, I poured over the chicken breasts in a baking dish and popped it all in the oven. 


I boiled some green beans. 


Finished product. 

Things I learned. 

  • There apparently aren’t batteries in my smoke detectors. 
  • Or smoke detectors in the apartment building hallways. 
  • Pan sauces are super fun, and yummy. 
  • I probably need a new kitchen. 
  • I’m very thankful that I had people there or I might’ve started an actual fire. 

Come back next week, Lisa is doing Italian!

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One thought on “Week 34 – Pan Sauces

  1. Pingback: Week 50 – Creative Techniques | Lisa and Janine Try to Cook

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