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Old 2010-12-10, 22:07
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PST 88 PST 88 is offline
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Originally Posted by L,B'XXX
Paddy, lots of times when I make soup I'll use some leftover chicken that I've oven baked. If you have some with a little skin or fat on it it makes more chickeny flavor, too. Sometimes after I've baked it, I'll add some water to the browned stuff in empty pan, and scrap those bits off. It makes a nice rich, browned base for soup or to use some cornstarch or arrowroot for gravy. Those don't need to cook down like flour and they don't really change the color too much either.

The process you're referring to here is called 'deglazing,' and it's a pretty essential step for developing flavor in a sauce or soup; depending on the sauce or soup, you may want to use a more flavorful liquid than plain water.

When it comes to thickening a sauce like you're describing, it's better to use a 1:1 mixture of cornstarch and warm water ('slurry') than plain cornstarch. While you have to cook out the flour in a roux if you want to use it to thicken a sauce, you can knead equal parts flour and butter together ('beurre manie') to thicken a sauce with flour without having to cook it down.

Glad the soup experiment went well for you, Pads. Sorry to hear that your mother had to give up some of her precious wine, but I suppose sacrifices had to be made.
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