As an aside, not all alcohol evaporates when added to a liquid such as stock. The mixture is called an azeotrope as described in the current issue of FINE COOKING magazine.
But yes, an alcoholic beverage added to food will, indeed, flavor it. Hence the action of flambe. Try adding 1 - 2 tsps whiskey to 3 qts of chicken stock, you'll taste the difference. Adding more than 2 tsps ruins it.
Either the usage of whiskey was pure inspiration or from Raymond Oliver's book entitled LA CUISINE. Whiskey tends to round out the flavor IMHO when used sparingly. Longer simmering mellows any "harshness". As to acidity, dunno'.
Kokopuffs, when you add alcohol (ie. wine, bourbon, etc) and deglaze a pan you still add flavor to the liquid that you then add next. So deglazing is a way of adding flavor to a liquid, it also helps to pull up all those caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, helping them to also flavor the liquid and to keep them from burning.
As for flambeeing, as Nicko pointed out, only part of the alcohol gets burned off. Liquids will only flambe when their alcohol content reaches a certain point. As the alcohol burns it becomes more diluted until it gets to a point where the alcohol content can't support a flame
As an example, the bourbon sauce that I make: I caramelize veg in a pan. I then deglaze with bourbon and flame it to burn off the alcohol, leaving just the rich caramel and oak tones to the bourbon. I then add my demi and seasonings. Reduce that, add cream, reduce again. Then, just before straining I add a bit of raw bourbon to give the sauce just a hint of that raw alcohol bite.
Now that sounds good to me. 2 of my favorite things rabbit and Guiness beer.
During the summer I take pork tenderloins and marinate overnight in a Bourbon, honey, Maple syrup marinade and roll them in choped Pecans then roast in the oven. I then deglaze the pan with the marinade and make a sauce out of it and drizzle over the sliced pork loin and Garlic/dill mashed potatoes.
I always fail to succed in what you call deglazing
The alcohol evaporates too soon and the sauce gets very dark...
Why? Because I do that in high temperature?
I have tried Pete'sbourbon sauce and it was a catastrophy...
When I make meat in casserole, first I saute it for 5 min and then I add a glass of wine and I reduce the heat and let it boil with it's liquid.
May I recommend tasting, in a properly warmed (not heated) brandy snifter, some high quality armangnac or even calvados? Just about 5 - 10 cc's in the glass will do, enough to savour a highly delicate aroma. What a truly exquisite experience.
1. Reduce the heat (or flame) to the vessel.
2. Squeeze some lemon into the fond (pan drippings). Swirl.
2. Add enough wine to cover the bottom of the pan. Reduce
3. To the reduction add some stock or creme. Reduce to a
4. Feed me.