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November 12, 2020

Fool proof Gravy

Years ago, I could roast a turkey but I was terrified of making gravy. Those damn lumps would be the give-away that I had no idea what I was doing. My solution: never make gravy!

I remember asking my mother-in-law to please make the gravy as we lifted the turkey out of the oven. “Yes,” she answered. But I noticed her quizzical expression so I quickly added, “I don’t know how. I tried,” I continued, “but ended up with a lumpy mess.”

I watched as she whisked everything together, resulting in a smooth flavorful gravy. Easy.

It took me a few tries. Instead of making the traditional roux (flour and butter), I make a flour slurry to thicken the gravy. It does the trick every time without any lumps.

If for some reason you do get lumps, I have a solution for that too.

I write my recipes with a lot of explanations so they are easy to follow. Don’t get discouraged if they seem long; they aren’t difficult, just detailed. 

Please read the recipe completely before starting. This makes cooking so much easier. If you’d like more tips read my blog post 7 Tiny Changes that Will Make You a Better Cook. Here

Ideally, you should make your own broth. Don’t panic.

Homemade Broth

Start making the broth when you put the turkey in the oven so it is ready when the bird comes out. What is great about doing this is very little fat.

Makes at least 2 cups

Giblets—that’s everything that is packed in your turkey cavity.
4 to 6 cups turkey or chicken broth
3 to 4 tablespoons or cubes of low-salt turkey or chicken bouillon


  1. Take the pieces inside the turkey cavity and place in a pot with 4 to 6 cups of chicken or turkey broth, depending on how much gravy you want to end up with.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for 1 hour. (Add more broth if it gets too low, but you should be okay if you’re simmering on low heat.)
  3. Taste; you want the flavor to be strong. If needed, add the bouillon.
  4. Remove 1 cup of liquid and refrigerate. You want it cold when you make your gravy.

To make the gravy

Flour, approximately 4 to 5 tablespoons, depending on quantity of liquid
You may need a fat separator.
1 pint-size jar with a tight-fitting sealable lid



  1. When the turkey is ready and resting on a cutting board covered with foil, place your roasting pan on your burners over high heat. If the pan doesn’t have much liquid left you’ll have lots of crispy drippings stuck to the bottom. That’s where all the flavor is.
  2. Deglaze the pan by adding a cup of that wonderful broth you made and scrape the bottom of the pan, releasing all those wonderful bits.
  3. If pan has lots of liquid left, bring it to a boil and as above, scrape the bottom to loosen all morsels.
  4. If the gravy left in the pan contains a lot of fat, use a fat separator:

Pour the gravy into the separator, wait a few minutes for the fat to come to the top. Slowly pour the gravy into the roasting pan or a separate pot.

  1. Add enough broth so you have 3 cups of liquid and bring it to just under a boil.
  2. Make the thickener, a flour slurry, to thicken the gravy:
In a jar with a tight sealing lid, pour the cup of cold reserved broth.
Add the flour.
Seal the jar tightly and shake vigorously to eliminate all the lumps.
Open jar to make certain the slurry is well combined without clumps. If necessary, stir with a spoon and seal jar and shake vigorously until smooth.  
  1. Pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking continuously to combine. Add as much slurry as needed to get the desired consistency. (If you need more slurry than you have, make more and add it.)
  2. There is never too much gravy; remember, you can reheat it for leftovers.

Note: If you want a very smooth gravy or (heaven forbid) there are lumps, all you need to do is pour the gravy through a sieve. The results will be perfect—it’s foolproof.

To keep the gravy warm

Keep it in the pot on the lowest heat and whisk from time to time to break up any skin that forms on top. (Tip add some butter on top it will prevent a skin from forming on top of the gravy.)

I’ve started pouring the gravy into an insulated container so it stays hot without my worrying about it.


Mushrooms—Slice 2 cups mushrooms and sauté them with oil and butter until they have reduced and browned. Add the mushrooms to the gravy before serving.

Herbs—Add fresh herbs to the liquid as you make your homemade broth. Remove before using. 

After you’ve made this a few times you’ll see how easy it is—you’ll no longer need the recipe.

One last thought: if you want to make gravy and you don’t have any giblets, you can use a combination of low-salt broth and low-salt poultry bouillon. Remember, you want your broth to have lots of flavor.


I'd like to make gravy making as easy for you as my mother-in-law did for me. Let me know in the comments below if you created the perfect gravy or if you’re still struggling and why. I’ll try and solve your issues.





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