Sticking to the Pan Can Be Good When You're Trying to Make Better Pan Sauce

America's Test Kitchen Science: To Make a Better Pan Sauce, Break All the Rules.

A pan sauce takes advantage of the flavorful browned bits, or fond, left in a pan after searing food. There are rules we follow when making such a sauce, but we decided to see what would happen if we broke all those rules.

The rules in this video apply to chicken with skin.

These are 3 Rules to Break

Pat chicken dry
Use 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet
Add chicken when oil starts to smoke

Food sticks when "sulfur-containing amino acids in the food bind with the iron atoms in the pan." The bonds are limited when there is a significant amount of oil, and the bonds break when there is a significant amount of heat. When more bonds form, there is more fond left behind in the pan.

Cooler pans allow more fond to form because bonds allow to adhere longer.

Placing wet skin in the pan causes the pan temperature to drop.

So Here are the 3 Rules ...
(to get more fond and then better pan sauce)

Don't pat down the chicken
Use one-quarter tablespoon of oil
Add chicken when the oil starts to shimmer