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Homemade Gravy: Foolproof and Delicious

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

When I was in college, I accidentally made gravy.  I didn’t know it at the time, but making gravy is an extremely useful skill.  In fact, it can be lifesaving for those occasions when you enter your pantry to retrieve a packet of powdered gravy mix, only to discover that you used your last one a week ago. 

It’s actually a shame that these powdered gravy mixes have become so often used when gravy is incredibly easy to make.  Unfortunately, homemade gravy just seems to have developed a bad reputation for being lumpy and tasteless.  With the right technique, though, your gravy can always turn out smooth and tasty in minutes. 

My accidental discovery can be credited to a Rachel Ray recipe for Chicken and biscuits.  On that fateful day several years ago, I was dutifully following her instructions to add milk into a paste-like mixture of butter and flour that had been created during a previous step.  All of a sudden, I noticed that there was smooth and delicious gravy in front me. 

Thus began my love affair with homemade gravy. 

Starting a pan of gravy is simple enough.  You add equal amounts of a binding agent (i.e. flour) to a fat (i.e. butter).  The simplicity is deceiving, however, because this first step is also where homemade gravy can go horribly wrong.  If you develop lumps now, no amount of vigorous stirring is going to make your gravy smooth later. 

The secret to smooth gravy is to gradually create a “roux” before adding any additional liquid.  A roux is just a fancy cooking term for a mixture of flour and fat.  In order to create a perfect roux, make sure that you place the flour and butter in the sauce pan before turning on the heat.  If you have any other powdered ingredients to flavor your gravy, like chicken bouillon (see my recipe for Perfectly Homemade Chicken Gravy at the end of the article), now would be a great time to add them, too. 

As the butter begins to melt, stir it into the flour.  This step is probably the most important.  If you wait for all of the butter to melt before mixing it into the flour, then some of the flour will clump together.  Obviously, this leads to lumpy gravy. 

Once you have created your smooth roux, you’re ready to add the liquid.  For tasty gravy, I recommend adding milk.  Water just doesn’t add any flavor, so what’s the point?  After adding the liquid, bring the gravy to a boil and stir for about one minute.  Next, reduce the heat, then salt and pepper to taste.  Surprise!  You can cook gravy from scratch. 

Recipe for Perfectly Homemade Chicken Gravy
4 tbsp Flour
4 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Powdered Chicken Bouillon (NOT the cubes)
2 cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Place flour, butter, and chicken bouillon in a saucepan.  Turn on medium heat.
2.  Stirring constantly, create a roux as the butter melts.  Make sure that the butter completely mixes into the dry ingredients. 
3.  Add the milk, and continue stirring.
4.  Bring the gravy to a boil for 1 minute, still stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning.
5.  Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste. 
6.  Pour it into a gravy boat and let everyone know it’s homemade! 

Homemade Gravy:  Foolproof and Delicious

When I was in college, I accidentally made gravy.  I didn’t know it at the time, but making gravy is an extremely

useful skill.  In fact, it can be lifesaving for those occasions when you enter your pantry to retrieve a packet of

powdered gravy mix, only to discover that you used your last one a week ago. 

It’s actually a shame that these powdered gravy mixes have become so often used when gravy is incredibly easy to

make.  Unfortunately, homemade gravy just seems to have developed a bad reputation for being lumpy and tasteless. 

With the right technique, though, your gravy can always turn out smooth and tasty in minutes. 

My accidental discovery can be credited to a Rachel Ray recipe for Chicken and biscuits.  On that fateful day

several years ago, I was dutifully following her instructions to add milk into a paste-like mixture of butter and

flour that had been created during a previous step.  All of a sudden, I noticed that there was smooth and delicious

gravy in front me. 

Thus began my love affair with homemade gravy. 

Starting a pan of gravy is simple enough.  You add equal amounts of a binding agent (i.e. flour) to a fat (i.e.

butter).  The simplicity is deceiving, however, because this first step is also where homemade gravy can go

horribly wrong.  If you develop lumps now, no amount of vigorous stirring is going to make your gravy smooth later.

 

The secret to smooth gravy is to gradually create a “roux” before adding any additional liquid.  A roux is just a

fancy cooking term for a mixture of flour and fat.  In order to create a perfect roux, make sure that you place the

flour and butter in the sauce pan before turning on the heat.  If you have any other powdered ingredients to flavor

your gravy, like chicken bouillon (see my recipe for Perfectly Homemade Chicken Gravy at the end of the article),

now would be a great time to add them, too. 

As the butter begins to melt, stir it into the flour.  This step is probably the most important.  If you wait for

all of the butter to melt before mixing it into the flour, then some of the flour will clump together.  Obviously,

this leads to lumpy gravy. 

Once you have created your smooth roux, you’re ready to add the liquid.  For tasty gravy, I recommend adding milk. 

Water just doesn’t add any flavor, so what’s the point?  After adding the liquid, bring the gravy to a boil and

stir for about one minute.  Next, reduce the heat, then salt and pepper to taste.  Surprise!  You can cook gravy

from scratch. 

Recipe for Perfectly Homemade Chicken Gravy
4 tbsp Flour
4 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Powdered Chicken Bouillon (NOT the cubes)
2 cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Place flour, butter, and chicken bouillon in a saucepan.  Turn on medium heat.
2.  Stirring constantly, create a roux as the butter melts.  Make sure that the butter completely mixes into the

dry ingredients. 
3.  Add the milk, and continue stirring.
4.  Bring the gravy to a boil for 1 minute, still stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning.
5.  Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste. 
6.  Pour it into a gravy boat and let everyone know it’s homemade! 

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