The term de-glaze is the act of using a liquid to pull out the flavor from the caramelized bits of food that gets stuck to the pan after you sear or sautee food. So for example, if you cook a steak you will notice brown bits stuck to the pan. That is caramelized protein that has a ton of flavor which will go to waste if you do not deglaze. You can technically deglaze the pan with water, but water doesn’t add any flavor. I usually use chicken or beef stock to de-glaze the pan, or wine depending on what flavor I am trying to add. For apple pork chops I like to use unfiltered apple cider to bring out the most apple flavor.
De-glazing a pan is one of the easiest ways to start an awesome sauce. In the image above I just seared a rib eye steak, which I then de-glazed with Hennessy and heavy cream.