Monday, November 21, 2011

No Lump Gravy

Making gravy used to stress me out.  I was so worried about lumps and bumps of flour but I finally found a very easy method of ensuring that my Thanksgiving gravy is nothing but smooth flavor through and through. 

Here is what you'll need: 

Turkey Drippings
Low Sodium Chicken Stock
Unsalted Butter
Sea or Kosher Salt
White Pepper 

So I like to cook my turkey on a non stick roasting rack and pan.  It helps facilitate the gravy making, but no big deal if you don't have a pan like this.

After you remove the turkey and the rack, you will be left with something like this. Dried up crispy turkey drippings that are just packed with flavor.

Add about a cup of low sodium chicken stock to reconstitute these bits that dried on the bottom. If you wanted, you could use white wine.   If it wasn't Thanksgiving, I probably would, but I like to keep mine old school on this sacred day.

With a rubber whisk, I stirred and stirred to liquefy as much of this as I could.  Come back to life crispy brown bits!  We still need you here on earth!

This was about as far as my patience took me.  Looks good to me.

My Aunt Deb and Uncle Mike got me this awesome gravy fat separator for one of my wedding shower gifts.  It also works as a strainer too which I LOVE.  I poured the liquid turkey goodness into the strainer so the big chunks would be left out.

And you should be left with something that looks like this.  2/3 amazing flavor, 1/3 more amazing flavor (fat).

I poured it into a bowl so you could get a better look at the strained drippings.

Melt half a stick of unsalted butter into the original pan over medium heat.  

Move it all around so you have a nice even layer of butter at the bottom of your pan. 

Now, here comes the flour.  This will be our thickening agent.

To make an easy rue, just use 1 part butter, 1 part flour.  Sprinkle as evenly as you can over the butter.  Don't stress, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Now, whisk it together until a thick paste forms like this.

Now, add some chicken stock.  Add a little at a time.  I do about 1/2 cup, whisk.  Another 1/2 cup, drink some whisky, I mean whisk.  Absolutely no need to measure this.  Just poor in a little at a time and quickly stir.

Now here comes the fun part!!  Pour the love potion (strained turkey drippings) into the rue we just made.

Look at this.  Golden, brown, delicious.  See how thick it is though?

Add some more chicken stock and let it bubble so it slowly thickens.  Add a little more and then cook down again.  You want it condensed so you have the rich gravy flavor, but not too thick where you can't pour it.

A good way of knowing it's thick enough is to dip in a spoon and let the gravy run off by turning the spoon on its side.  While it's still on its side, run your finger across the middle of the spoon.  If your finger mark stays there and doesn't disappear with gravy running down, it's ready.

I added 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper and just a sprinkle of sea salt.  This just added the perfect little kick.

Most people use white pepper for aesthetic reasons.  I swear it has a different taste though.  To me, it tastes more mild up front with a smooth peppery finish.  Sometimes I'll add both white and black pepper to recipes to give it a more dynamic flavor.  Just play around when you're cooking.  It's all just one crazy experiment.

Now is the time where you can add some herbs.  Since I cooked the turkey with sage butter, this already had a wonderful hint of sage.  If you want, you could just throw in a couple of leaves, stir it around, and then remove before serving.  I don't like mine to have a super strong herb taste.  I want the savory turkey flavor to shine through.

Pour in your favorite gravy boat (I love this one) and serve.  What are your favorite twists to holiday gravy? Stay Hungry!

No Lump Gravy Recipe
Meat Drippings
3-4 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup of Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup of Flour
Pinch of Sea or Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of White Pepper

Reconstitute meat drippings with 1/2 cup or so of chicken stock and whisk.   Once most of the drippings are picked up from the bottom of the pan, strain.  In same pan, melt butter and evenly sprinkle flour on top.  Whisk your rue to make a thick paste.  Add some chicken stock a little at a time.  Pour in strained drippings.  Whisk.  Add chicken stock until desired thickness is reach.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.  This can be used for any meat drippings - pot roast, chicken, etc.


  1. Love the "love potion" comment. Love Potion Number Nine should be played loudly while making gravy! :-)


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