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Fix the color of my Jus please...

phan1 Jan 17, 2008 11:15 PM

I'm making a simple Jus. OK, I pan fried some chicken thighs, and I deglaze with some Merlot. I know it's not the best pick, but it's what I got. Right now, I get a purple-ish sauce. Not too shabby. I then add my homemade white chicken stock, which is pretty opaque. At this point, the sauce is looking like an opaque, dark pink-ish color. The red merlot plus my white chicken stock yields something that looks dark pink. And no, the color doesn't improve when I reduce it. It tastes good, but who wants a pink looking sauce? Help please? Too much Merlot? Maybe Merlot is just a bad choice?

  1. speyerer Jan 17, 2008 11:57 PM

    Add Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce a few drops at a time to color your "Jus"..

    1. Sam Fujisaka Jan 18, 2008 03:04 AM

      Pan fried chicken thighs will not normally produce brown bits deep enough to produce a dark sauce. Your chicken stock is white and opaque: I assume that it waas made more by boiling than slow simmering and that it contains a lot of particles from chicken meat. So, yes, your merlot would produce an opaque pink sauce. Obviously, I guess you need to use white wine for a better color than pink--and save the merlot for deglazing after red meats.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
        phan1 Jan 18, 2008 04:20 AM

        Well, I used a pressure cooker. And I also reduced it, so my chicken stock is pretty opaque... Is that why I rarely hear about people using pressure cookers to make stock? I never heard of a professional use them to make stock. Maybe it's because it makes stock cloudy?

        1. re: phan1
          Sam Fujisaka Jan 18, 2008 04:27 AM

          I use roasted bones, simmer slowly, skim, strain and/or use an egg white raft to get a clear(er) stock before reducing.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            chelleyd01 Jan 18, 2008 01:50 PM


            egg white raft?

            1. re: chelleyd01
              Sam Fujisaka Jan 18, 2008 03:05 PM

              Whip up some egg whites, spread on top of skimmed and strained stock. The remaining bits will cling to the "raft"which can be removed.

      2. Gio Jan 18, 2008 03:27 AM

        The word "jus" means the natural juices given off by roasted meats, in particular beef. To prepare a natural jus, simply skim off the fat from the juices left after cooking and bring the remaining meat stock to a boil for a minute or two.

        What you have made is a sauce. Wine, stock, reduce. Sauce.

        1. 4
          4Snisl Jan 18, 2008 05:46 AM

          It may not be to your taste, but I might throw in a little tomato paste. I do that when I get the purplish effect from using red wine in beef stews.

          Maybe what I'm suggesting will exacerbate rather than solve your issue (e.g. turn the sauce magenta :) , but at this point, might be worth a shot. Glad it tastes good :).

          1. v
            violabratsche Jan 18, 2008 06:32 PM

            If you roast or dry fry some cut onions, and remove them just before they are burnt, but are very dark, then cook them in the jus, you will get a darker jus, or gravy. For an easier fix, I'd go with the Kitchen Bouuquet Browning idea.


            1. Caroline1 Jan 19, 2008 10:07 AM

              As others have pointed out, Kitchen Bouquet works great for adding color. But if you don't have any on hand and really need to darken a sauce or gravy (or jus), put a little cane sugar in an old tablespoon (or any large kitchen spoon) and hold it over high heat until it carmelizes. Plunge it into whatever you want to color. It's a trick that has been in my family for generations. Practice will help you learn how dark to get the sugar without it taking on a bitter taste. The small amount needed does not sweeten the jus or gravy, and it can give a lovely rich mahogany color.

              Edit footnote: Sometimes it's pretty difficult getting the burnt sugar out of the spoon, no matter how much you soak it, so I keep a dedicated spoon just for gravies.

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