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Nov 25, 2006 06:12 AM

Er, gluten-free gravy?! Is this possible?

I'm having Thanksgiving next weekend, and my brother-in-law's gluten-free. I know he'd be gracious about foregoing gravy, but I'd like to find a workaround that would let him eat it.

- Is there a way to make roux without flour?
- If there are a couple of options, is any one significantly tastier / more effective?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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  1. You don't need a roux to thicken gravy. You can instead dissolve cornstarch into some cold water (the dissolved mixture is called a slurry) and add to the hot liquid to thicken as it comes to a simmer. Cornstarch is gluten-free, as is arrowroot powder and also potato starch, all used for thickening (so is tapioca, too). Of course, another very old-fashioned (albeit Frenchified) approach would be to use heavy cream and perhaps an egg yolk liaison off the heat (or even mounting cold butter as well), but that takes far too skilled a hand than is necessary for something like turkey gravy and really would turn it into something more like a Sauce than a gravy.

    Cornstarch is best for liquids that may involve dairy (like gravies), while arrowroot is best for thickening more acidic liquids.

    1. My sister is gluten free too. I make gravy for all of us this way... its great to keep on hand for all occasions especially under a fried egg.
      A simple solution: In a small crock pot make a simple stew.

      Either chicken thighs(skin-on and bone-in), or turkey legs.
      Rough chopped mire-poix(onion,carrot,celery)
      Sear off your meat in a sautee pan, remove yor meat,add your veggies to pan get some color on them, remove to crock pot, deglaze your pan with white wine, add drippings to crock pot too!
      Add a few cloves of garlic,fresh herbs of your choice, and enough water to 3/4 up the side of your product....

      Cook covered on low until the meat falls of the bone. Fish out the bones and herbs, I leave the skin...

      Use a "hand wand", vertical blender, whatever ya call it and Puree the whole crockpot until its smooth like thick soup. Season to taste.

      Remove the cover and turn up your crock pot. Cook for another 20-30 minutes. Be sure to stir often and scrape the sides, thats the best flavor!!Turn off the pot wait 5 minutes Grab the wand and puree again, this time pour a little cream into the pot. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy!

      I know it looks labor intensive, but if you make enough you can enjoy until easter.....

      1. Thanks folks.

        I found a blog about celiac that recommends a mix of soy flour, brown rice flour and cornflour. Saying soy flour alone makes a too-sweet gravy, but the brown rice and corn flour balances it out.

        Does non-gluten flour offer any advantages to cornstarch or the 'stew' approach?

        1. Either corn starch or potato starch can sub for flour in any gravy recipe. You won't make a roux, though. Instead you should mix the starch into a small amount of the stock - room temperature or cold - (you want to make it into a slurry) and whisk it to the gravy stock when you simmer it. The gravy will thicken as it cooks. The consistency will not be identical to flour-thickened gravy, though. It will be glossier and more transparent. Add the starch sparingly at first - you definitely don't want to overdo it because you'll get glop.

          1. Since I am intolerant of many starches, including wheat and corn, my husband (who loved Chinese food) learned to make his own using potato starch. Nyleve is right: you don't make a roux but instead mix the starch into small amount of stock and then whisk into gravy stock while it simmers and then thickens. The consistency is very close to flour-thickened gravy using potato starch, a more translucent shiny gravy (think Chinese restaurant) if you use cornstarch.