Pan Gravy 101

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 15m

Makes about 3 1/2 cups (allow 1/3 cup gravy per person, more if you want some leftover)

There are a lot of different ways to make gravy -- thickening with a flour-water paste or cornstarch, using a saucepan or a roasting pan, etc. But here's how to make the most delicious, grease free, lumpless, dark mahogany brown gravy in the world.
Objective: Treat gravy as a classic French roux-based sauce, which has exact proportions of fat, flour and liquid. Use a measured amount of the fat skimmed from the drippings and turkey stock to give rich turkey flavor. The proportions are 1 1/2 tablespoons each of fat and all-purpose flour to each cup of liquid, part of which should be the pan drippings. For example, to yield slightly less than 4 cups of gravy, use 6 tablespoons each fat and flour and 4 cups of liquid. If you like thicker gravy, increase the fat and flour by 2 tablespoons -- you can always thin it down with more stock.


  • Pan drippings from roast turkey
  • About 3 1/2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper


When the turkey is done, transfer it to a serving platter and set aside. Always degrease the drippings and stock before making gravy. Pour the pan drippings into a 1-quart glass measure or medium bowl, leaving any browned bits in the bottom of the roasting pan. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using a large spoon, skim the clear yellow fat that has risen to the surface and reserve. (If the drippings don't seem dark enough, pour half back into the roasting pan and set over two burners. Bring to a boil over high heat. As the drippings reduce and darken, occasionally pour in the remaining drippings until the liquid in the pan is as dark as you want. The amount of drippings will decrease, but the finished gravy will be darker and taste better, without having to resort to bottled gravy coloring.) Add enough stock to the drippings to measure 4 cups total.

Set the roasting pan on two burners over moderately low heat. Add 6 tablespoons of the reserved fat to the pan. (If you don't have enough fat drippings you can always use melted butter). Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisking constantly, until it turns beige, 1 to 2 minutes. (Use a whisk to avoid lumpy gravy. A flat paddle-shaped whisk works better than a balloon whisk. If you have a non-stick roasting pan, use a heatproof plastic whisk, available at kitchenware stores: Mine has become an indispensable tool.) It is important to let the mixture cook for a minute or two to allow the flour to lose its raw taste, but adjust the heat as needed to keep it from burning. Whisk in the stock/drippings mixture, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. If the gravy seems too thin, increase the heat to medium and boil until it is as thick as you wish. If the gravy seems too thick, thin with additional stock. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, strain the gravy through a wire sieve to remove any extraneous browned bits of drippings.

TIP: The secret to dark, rich gravy? Dark, rich pan drippings. Let the drippings evaporate into a dark brown glaze during roasting, but don't let them burn. Whenever the pan looks dry, moisten the drippings with more turkey stock, wine or water so they don't scorch. The darker and heavier your roasting pan, the darker and richer the drippings. Thin aluminum roasters make wimpy drippings.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Broadway Books. All rights reserved.

RecID 2468

nutrition information per serving

71 calories; 5g total fat; 6mg cholesterol; 148mg sodium; 4g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 1g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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