How To Make Perfect Gravy


How To Make Perfect Gravy


The art of gravy making can be a challenge to those who only prepare the robust sauce on special holiday occasions, but in fact, making great gravy isn’t difficult.

To make the gravy, remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour the poultry drippings through a sieve into a container or cup. Add 1 cup stock to the roasting pan and stir until crusty brown bits are loosened: pour the deglazed liquid/stock into the container with the pan drippings. Let the mixture stand a few minutes until the fat rises to the top. Skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings, reserving 3-4 tablespoons.

Over medium heat, spoon the reserved fat into a 2 quart or larger saucepan. Whisk an equal amount of flour into heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden (photo at left). To produce a full flavored gravy, it is critical to cook the flour in about an equal portion of fat until the flour has lost its raw taste. A rather common problem is the temptation to use too much flour, which decreases the flavor.

Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings/stock mixture (photo at right). Cook and stir until gravy boils and is slightly thick. Remember the gravy will continue to thicken after it has been removed from the heat. A good rule is to use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of flour for each cup of liquid and then give the mixture time to thicken.

If a shortage of turkey gravy is a common problem at your house, double it! Use a little melted butter and extra warmed poultry stock to increase the volume of the pan drippings.

The following chart lists several common gravy problems and ways to eliminate them so the grand feast will be complete.

Optional Ingredients:
You can dress up your gravy by adding optional ingredients. Try some fresh or dried herbs (use whatever you used to make your turkey). A little wine ( 3/4 cup or less) or brandy ( a few tablespoons) will add a complex flavor. For an extra rich gravy, try adding a little cream (1/4 – 1/2 cup). You can also add vegetables like cooked onion or mushrooms for variety. Use your imagination!



Gravy is lumpy.

With a whisk rotary beater, beat the gravy until smooth. If all other attempts fail, use a food processor, strainer or blender. Reheat, stirring constantly. Serve.

Gravy is too salty.

If the over salting is slight:

  • A. Add several raw potato slices and cook until the potato slices are translucent. Remove and discard the potato prior to serving.
  • B. Add a few pinches of light brown sugar. DON’T ADD TOO MUCH or your gravy will turn sweet.

If the over salting is severe, the gravy must be repaired by increasing the quantity. Prepare another batch of gravy, omitting all salt. Blend the two batches together.

Gravy is too light in color.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee.

Gravy is not thick.

If time permits, allow the gravy to continue to simmer on the stovetop. If time does not allow, mix the following thickening agents as indicated:

  • A. Cornstarch – Blend 1 teaspoon per cup of liquid in cold water. Stir until dissolved then mix into gravy. Continue to cook and stir to eliminate the cornstarch flavor.
  • B. Make a thin paste of flour and cold water, stir into gravy and continue to cook to eliminate the raw flour flavor.
  • C. Arrowroot – Blend 1 tablespoon per cup liquid in cold water. Stir until dissolved, then mix into gravy. Can be served as soon as the gravy thickens due to arrowroot’s lack of taste.

NOTE: Mixing starch with cold water before adding it to a hot mixture prevents lumping.

Gravy is too thick.

Slowly whisk in more broth until the desired thickness is achieved.

Gravy is greasy/fatty.

For an immediate fix, the fat can be skimmed off the top or soaked up with a fresh bread slice. If more time allows, chill the gravy, skim off the fat and reheat the gravy until it bubbles.

By Cheri Sicard



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