Before I get into the recipe for this – and it’s a very easy, but very important recipe – I have a confession. Or a realization. I realized that while I’m pretty good at taking the process photos of a recipe, I fail miserably at taking photos of the finished product. A few days after Thanksgiving as I started to draft this post, I realized I didn’t have a good photo of the finished product … something pretty, artistic, attractive. Gravy in a gravy boat or pitcher, or being poured over stuffing or turkey … anything like that.
So one of my plans for this coming weekend is to remake a few of my holiday recipes so that I can get the “food porn” shots … so to speak. I don’t think it’s going to be a huge hardship because gravy of any kind doesn’t last long in my house anyway!
Ok, so onward with the gravy recipe. This is more of a technique post than a recipe post, really, although I’ll post a recipe at the end to give you all a starting point.
Start with the drippings from your turkey or your roasted chicken or your roasted pork or whatever meat you’re cooking. Strain out the solids and you should be left with a few tablespoons of liquid fat and some juice and drippings from the meat. As you can see, I wound up with about 1.25 cups of combined fat and juice from a 12 lb turkey:
Put this into a 2 qt saucier and bring it to a boil:
Add in about 1/3 of a cup of flour and start wisking like mad. Whisk like your life depended on it. Wisk like there’s no tomorrow. You want to eliminate all the lumps (if you can).
Of course sometimes lumps happen and I’m not above using a spoon to pull out the lumps that just won’t go away!
Now … here’s the trick to any good gravy, whether it’s cream gravy, stock based gravy, turkey or chicken or whatever. You MUST cook the flour. Too many people add the flour to the fat and drippings and just stir it around until it’s thick. Don’t stop there. Continue cooking and lightly whisking the mixture as it browns. What you’re doing here is making a roux .. you’re cooking the flour until it loses that raw floury taste and gets nutty and browned. When the roux has darkened and you can scrape your whisk across the pan and see the bottom … you’re ready to move on. Don’t, whatever you do, skimp on this step!
Now .. you’re ready to begin adding the chicken broth or turkey stock (if you were making southern style cream gravy, you’d add milk at this point!). Pour it in slowly and whisk like crazy again. For this amount of roux, I added in about 2 cups of broth and another cup of water.
And after a few minutes of whisking away, you’ll have gravy. You can let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken up, but keep in mind that as it cools it’ll get thicker, too, so don’t over cook it.
Here’s a recipe to get started with … just remember that the quantities are going to vary depending on the quantity of fat and drippings you get from your turkey or chicken or roast:
- 4 tbsp drippings + about 3/4 cup juice from your roast/turkey/chicken
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2-3 cups broth or stock
In a medium saucier or sauce pan, over medium-high heat, bring the drippings and juice to a low boil. Add the flour and whisk like crazy to prevent lumps. If you do get a few lumps of flour, use a teaspoon to lift them out. Continue whisking until the flour browns and the roux thickens. A medium rich brown roux that can be scraped back from the pot is what you’re looking for.
Once the roux is dark enough and the flour is cooked through, begin adding the liquid in a slow stream, again, whisking vigorously. Once you’ve incorporated about 2 cups of the liquid, lower the heat to a bare simmer for 4-5 mins. If you find the gravy is too thick, you can add more stock or broth or even plain water to thin it out. Don’t simmer it too long .. the longer it simmers, the thicker it will get.
Salt and pepper to taste. A serving is about 1/2 cup.
Calories 81 | Fat: 6.9g | Carbs: 4.2g | Fiber: 0.2g | Protein: 1.5g