There’s no doubt that the best gravy is made from pan drippings. But that is not always an option, and sometimes you just need gravy.
The ingredients here are pretty general, it’s a basic roux. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see that in the measuring cup, something is floating. Those are stock cubes. I make the unseasoned (including no salt) stock in the instant pot, then boil down to about 1/2 or 1/3rd of the original volume. I then add it to a silicon 9X9 pan, and freeze it (taking out several time during the freezing cycle to score it). When the pan is frozen, I break it into cubes and freeze in a bag. This really ups the flavor and texture, because the gelatin in the stock gives a very velvety mouth feel. It’s a very thrifty way to use up ingredients that would otherwise go in the trash.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. I like to use a saucier because I find whisking more pleasant with the rounded bottoms on the pan.
Add approximately 1/4 cup of flour. This is somewhat going to depend on how thick you want the gravy to be, but basically, enough flour so that it absorbs all the butter.
Like this. You can go a little more or a little less dry. Continue to cook a few minutes while whisking. Doing this cooks out some of the flour-y taste and will produce a better end product.
Microwave until near boiling: 2 cups of water (I used 2 stock cubes and filled to 2 cups of water) + about 2 tablespoons of chicken base (or a couple of bullion cubes. The base is much better in my opinion). Using the stock cubes and the chicken base gives you a nice and very chicken-y flavor, without amping the salt to 11. You can use low sodium chicken base, but I have found it to be very sweet for some reason? Maybe they replaced the salt with sugar to increase flavor, but I do not like it. Another option is to use store-bought broth in a can or a carton, but I rarely use that. The price is too high and it takes up too much space for the flavor that it gives.
Add it to the roux, and whisk. Bringing up the temperature of the liquid in the microwave helps prevent lumps, but you don’t want it to be too hot. At this point, it should not be too lumpy, but continue to whisk until the lumps are gone while heating over medium heat. If you have difficulty getting the lumps out, an immersion blender can save your life every time.
Continue to whisk over medium heat until thickened. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream. You can also add milk, or replace some or all of the water used above with milk. It will not be as rich though. If you want thicker gravy, increase the butter and flour added previously, and thinner do the reverse. You can thicken slightly by continuing to heat over medium heat but boiling can cause it to break. If it does, here’s where the immersion blender comes in handy again. Hit it with some black pepper!
Cream Chicken Gravy
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups water or combination stock/water/milk etc
- 2 tablespoons chicken base
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cream
- Melt butter in pan on medium heat. Add flour and cook for a minute. Add liquid and cook on medium heat until thickened. This will thicken faster if you heat the liquid prior (in the microwave) Add chicken base and pepper.