Gluten-free gravy

Gravy on spoon

If you think making homemade gravy is harder than the SAT’s, think again. Instead of using a gluten-based roux (butter and flour), start using slurries. A slurry is a combination of a starch and cold water (equal parts) which are mixed into a hot liquid like chicken or turkey broth. The ratio that I use which seems to work well is:

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch to 1 Tablespoon Cold Water to 1 cup of liquid
Making a roux

If you can’t tolerate corn, try arrowroot, tapioca or potato starch. Make sure the gravy is seasoned well with herbs, spices and…salt (again, assuming you can tolerate). To give it the creaminess and texture you might miss with a regular gravy, add 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter at the end. You can also try cream or a plain unsweetened milk, like coconut (it has a thicker texture than rice).

Happy Turkey Day!

Gluten-free Gravy for Turkey
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup (or more) drippings from the turkey (I sometimes add hot water to the bottom of the pan to make my own “broth”)
Note: If you don’t have any drippings, use 2 cups total of chicken broth

Slurry: 2 Tablespoons cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons cold water

1/2-1 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

Optional: 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Making the slurry

1. Heat broth in a small to medium sized pot.
2. Meanwhile, make the slurry in a small bowl. Mix until smooth and the slurry looks like whole milk (see photo above). Make sure to mix the slurry right before adding it to the broth.
3. Once broth is simmering, whisk in slurry and season with salt and pepper.
4. Cook 4-6 minutes or until thickened. If the sauce is not thick enough, add more slurry if necessary.
5. Make sure the sauce does not have a starchy texture. The way to tell is to taste it. If there is a gritty texture, the sauce needs to cook more.

6. Add sage at the end. Optionally add 1 tablespoon of butter to make the sauce more creamy and similar to a roux-thickened sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. If it tastes “flat”, add more salt, 1/8 teaspoon at a time.

For variations, add the following ingredients to the sauce when the broth is added. You may need to add more slurry to achieve the proper thickness.

• Lemon and Garlic: Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove to a chicken or vegetable based broth.
• Wine and Herb: Add 2 tablespoons of dry white wine and 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to the broth.
• Mustard: Whisk in 1-2 teaspoons dijon or grainy mustard into the sauce as it thickens.
• Creamy: Add 1 Tablespoon cream to any of the above sauces.

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3 Responses to Gluten-free gravy

    Jana Brown November 18, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    I love the variations on this recipe. You posted some flavor combinations which I hadn’t thought of…not that I’m going to be able to fight the gravy making duties away from my husband, but maybe I can make some suggestions. 🙂

    A product I use at home (disclaimer it’s now part of our family business, but it really is so cool I have to talk about it…) is Ultra Gel, which is an instant corn starch. It’s gluten free and just whisks into the drippings, water and spices, thickening immediately. The thing I love the most though is that it won’t separate in the fridge over night so I can have leftover turkey and gravy sandwiches!

    We also like adding bits of the gibblets or other small meats back to the gravy to provide texture and additional richness to the mix.


    The Family Chef November 18, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    Hi Jana,
    Thanks for the comment. I’d love to try it if you can send a sample my way.


    Anonymous November 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve made it pretty much the same way. Instead of chicken broth, I like to use a bit of the water from each of the vegetables that I have cooked for the meal. It’s usually lower in sodium and contains vitamins from the vegetables.

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