Sauces and gravies are pretty similar, there are hot and cold sauces, and hot and cold gravies, there's a sauce made from almost every animal, and every plant. The Chinese love to use fruits for sauces, such as orange sauces for their orange chicken, and likewise with lemons for lemon chicken. The Thai's, Vietnamese and Filipinos have their fish sauces made from fermented fish. Each nationality has their own names for it. You get the picture here.
Now let's say you are cooking some chicken, but you don't want a gravy, you want to make that chicken stand out for your up to date and hip foodie friends. Here's what you do, let's say you are roasting a chicken, the whole bird. When it's done, remove the chicken, and let it rest. Now take that roasting pan and put it on the stove top over low heat, bring it to a simmer, all that juices let it simmer and start to scrape the pan with a wooden spoon, this is the fond.
Now I'm going to take you a bit further, what is the flavor you are looking for? Are you looking for Asian umami? Maybe sweet & sour? Or maybe fruity like what I was describing… okay, let's make ourselves an orange sauce utilizing the drippings from the roasted chicken.
Add to the pan, 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, and 2 cups of fresh orange juice or a 100% good quality carton, 2 whole orange peeled and each piece separated by hand, as well as the peel from 1 of the oranges. Bring it to a boil, and then to a simmer. Add an inch of crushed ginger to the mix and simmer, stir. Then add in 1/4 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Simmer for a few more minutes, season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens and you have about 2 cups of liquid left over. Add more sugar if you want it sweetened, and stir well.
Slice up your chicken, and serve the sauce in small ramekins.
Good luck with your sauce making, until next time.