I discovered this sauce by accident when I was trying to make a white wine sauce directly in the sauté pan by adding white wine, some flour and chicken broth, and it quickly became my favorite.
I began making this sauce in large quantities in a large saucepan because it was just as easy to make more as it was to make less. When I had it handy, I simply adding a ladle or two to the ingredients in the sauté pan. I call it my ‘blank canvas” because whenever you add this sauce to something you are sautéing, whether it is meat, fish or vegetables, it pick up the flavors of these ingredients. The sauce is just the background — it never dominates the flavor, rather it tends to enhance it and adds a creamy texture to whatever you are cooking.
Tired of runny, watery clam sauce, add a bit of white wine sauce; or how about when you want to toss your sautéed veggies with pasta and you don’t have enough sauce, what do you do? Add more oil? No, just a bit of the handy dandy white wine sauce you have in the freezer.
You’ll use this sauce in countless recipes I’m sure. I use it whenever I’m making a sauce that isn’t tomato based. It is easy to make and you can freeze it in small containers so it is readily available whenever you need it. I am confident that it will become a favorite of yours as well.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached white flour (or you can use GF flour)
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste *
In a medium saucepan (4-5 quarts) over medium heat:
1. Add the olive oil then flour.
2. Stir with a wire whisk until all of the flour is dissolved and looks like a paste. This is the roux that thickens the sauce.
3. Lower heat and slowly add the wine (mixture will start to thicken quickly).
4. Continue stirring until all of the wine has been added.
5. Slowly add the chicken broth while you continue to stir.
6. Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 30 minutes or until the taste of alcohol in the wine is no longer present.
Quick Sauce Variation
For a quick white wine sauce, make it right in the sauté pan while you are cooking the other ingredients. Simply add:
1. 2 – 3 tablespoons of flour to the pan juices (more flour = a thicker sauce or more sauce) and stir to make a paste
2. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine and str to incorporate
3. Slowly add 1/2-1 cup Chicken Broth depending on how thick you want the sauce to be, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes
Add salt and pepper keeping in mind it is better to under-season this sauce since you will season it again in the sauté pan.
The exact thickness of the sauce is not critical. It can be adjusted in the sauté pan. However, it’s better to lean toward the thick side rather than the thin side since it’s easier to thin the sauce by simply adding a bit more broth.
If however, the sauce is too thin and you want to thicken it, you can do so in 2 ways. You can let the sauce cook longer, either in the saucepan or the sauté pan (thereby allowing time for some of the liquid to evaporate and the sauce to reduce) or you can thicken it by adding additional flour.
When adding flour to thicken any sauce however, it is best to start the process in a separate bowl. First mix a few tablespoons of flour with a 1/4 cup or so of chicken broth and stir until it reaches the consistency of a smooth, thick paste, free of any lumps. Then add another 1/4 cup of broth and stir until it reaches the consistency of a thin paste. Add a spoonful at a time of this paste to the sauce until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
If your sauce ever has lumps (caused by undissolved flour) pass the sauce through a sieve or mesh strainer. It will come out lump free.
Freeze this sauce in various size containers: in ice cube trays for small additions to sauces; in 8 ounce, 16 ounce and quart containers for larger uses, whatever works for you. It can be frozen for 6 months or more.