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Dec 1, 2009 08:24 AM

Gravy without drippings?

Does anyone have suggestions for making gravy for a supermarket rotisserie chicken? I've never made it without some pan juices to start with - preferably a mushroom gravy?

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  1. Unless you get the chicken right off the spit, it's been my experience that there's always juices and drippings in the bottom of the container when I get rotisserie chicken, usually enough for a decent gravy. In a pinch I'd cut out the backbone and wing tips and make a very quick stock with them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MandalayVA

      Some of the skin, too. In the meantime, soak dry mushrooms so you can use the flavorful soaking liquid, once strained, in the gravy - dissolve flour or cornstarch into it, add a little milk or cream, and stir into the reduced stock.

    2. Gravy without Drippings:

      2 cups chicken broth, boxed or canned
      2 celery stalks, chopped
      2 carrots, chopped
      1 onion, quartered
      10 whole peppercorns, or as you wish
      1 bay leaf
      6 T butter
      6 T flour
      salt as you wish
      Combine broth, celery, carrots, onion, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a saucepan and sauté till vegetables are just beginning to brown. Add broth and simmer for about 20 minutes to develop flavor. Strain the broth and discard the veggies.

      In the mean time, melt the butter in another saucepan. Blend in the flour and cook until mixture is slightly browned. Stir in seasoned broth slowly, whisking all the while then add the salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and then cook for about another 1 minute.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Gio, you have the broth added twice here! I think you meant to leave out the first addition, especially since you're wanting to sauté the veges and seasonings (hard to do when wet!), and then add it at the end.

        I usually cook a roux for gravy until it's dark brown, though that can be tricky because if it burns it's useless. Since flour's thickening abilities diminish with more cooking, you need a bit more dark roux than the golden kind. My secret for making this is a Pyrex pan - whenever I see these in antique malls I snap them up. Glass is a poor conductor of heat, so there are hot spots right next to cooler ones while I'm cooking the roux, and simply by whisking through those spots constantly I can move dark roux away from the hot spots and lighter roux into them, and come up with the proper color very quickly. Then I have to add all of the liquid at once (and of course it has to be hot), and whisk like crazy to keep it from boiling over. Easier than it sounds...

        1. re: Will Owen

          Oh thanks, Will. I really need to re-read every post I make before I hit Post My Reply.
          You're right, of course. I sit corrected.

      2. Along Gio's lines, for a mushroom gravy, once you melt the butter, sautee the mushrooms in the butter first, until softened, and then add flour. Scrape the container the chicken came in into the pan after adding the stock. After you've eaten the chicken, save the carcass and freeze so you can make your own stock with it for the next chicken.

        1. You can make a roux with butter and flour, or you can make a slurry with cornstarch and the drippings that are left in the container. With either, simply add some chicken stock or water(with bouillon added) and heat to thicken. You have to cook out the flour so to speak. The gravy will become thick only after it reaches boiling point. When the gravy can coat the back of a spoon, you are ready to check to see if additional seasonings are necessary and then serve.

          Basic roux to make gravy: one tablespoon each of butter and flour, melt in sauce pan or pot, mix to remove any lumps, add one cup of liquid.

          4 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            Just what I was going to say; you don't need drippings to make a gravy (they do enrich the gravy) but not necessary...just make a roux and add chicken stock, add your mushrooms and seasonings and simmer

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I think without the browned flavor from drippings you really need extra oomph from a roux (flour cooked in butter/oil til browned) and/or sauteed mushrooms, onions or such. dont add too much broth or it will get watery. when you have your browned base ready, stir in your broth and cook til it bubbles and thickens. We had a cornstarch gravy made with too much broth/too little concentration of the brown flavor and it just didnt stand up.

              1. re: jen kalb

                If I was using a supermarket chicken I would make a different sauce such as a white wine reduction with presevred lemon and perhaps some garlic.

                I have tried most workaround for a gravy without pan drippings and find that it never come out even close to as good, it's one of the reasons i started learning more about pan sauces.

                If all your searching for is the 'browned' flavour of the drippings then just caramelise something.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  The flavor is in the roux and will deepen the longer you cook it. The key is low and slow and it's the same no fail method used as when making a gumbo. As I've said you don't need drippings..just add the stock to the well cooked roux and don't be stingy with the seasonings

            2. I would forget about the "gravy" concept and search for "sauces" or "glazes" that work for you. Personally, I prefer fruit glazes on my chicken. Raspberry glaze being the classic. But you will find plenty of recipes for mushroom sauces if that's what you like. For mushroom sauces, there is a definite flavor advantage to using butter instead of reserved chicken fat too.

              Yes, there will be some juices from the bird that you can salvage from the packaging. But that is not the same as deglazing the roasting pan. It has the same fat content and some poultry flavor, but none of the charry, dark, flavorful impact. If you like a dark brown gravy, you will need to work at darkening your roux or resort to coloring agents like soy sauce or (gasp) Gravy Master. I recommend forgetting all that and go for a nice clean sauce or glaze.