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Nov 20, 2011 04:44 PM

Ratio of broth to flour/buitter for gravy?

I am preparing the make-ahead gravy referenced in this thread

However, the recipe says this will make 8 cups and there is no way that the amount of broth I have is going to result in 8 cups of gravy! Therefore, I'm guessing that I won't need the full amount of flour/butter. Is there a ratio or some rule of thumb i can use the get the proper amount of these ingredients? I apologize if this is a stupid question, but we never made gravy growing up, instead using the pan juices mixed with a little wine. Thus, I'm not familiar with gravy making.

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  1. 2T. oil/2T flour/1cup liquid
    But, it will depend on how long you cook your roux, too. The longer it cooks before adding liquid, the less thickening power it will have.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I actually prefer a slightly thinner gravy, so I go 1T butter/1T flour/1c stock, or thereabouts. Anywhere between 1-2T of each flour and butter per cup of stock will make a nice gravy consistency, just do what you prefer.

    2. An amount of flour equal to the amount of fat you end up with. Cook them together for a couple minutes then start pouring on the turkey juices and stock. If you end up short of liquid, the cooking liquid from any veggie you're cooking will thin AND add additional flavor. I always save the cooking liquid from potatoes and onions destined for creaming for this very reason.

      I don't measure the liquid I use. I just add until I have the viscosity I'm happy with.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rainey

        great tip on the extra liquid. if i'm using dried mushrooms i always save the soaking liquid (strained through cheesecloth to remove any sediment). that particular flavor is a terrific addition to hearty beef or red-wine based gravies and stews.

      2. First of all, allow me to suggest that using flour (or other powdered thickeners) isn't necessary for making gravy. Flour like thickeners cause gravy to become thick and gummy as they cool. If you include more vegetables and a few potatoes in the recipe you can use an immersion blender or other blending tool to create a naturally thick gravy that will have wonderful flavor and will stand up over time.
        The recipe you make reference to can be broken down into roughly:
        Turkey Wings 1lb
        Onions 1 medium
        water 1/3 cup (I'd use white wine here)
        broth 2 ½ cups
        carrot ½
        thyme 1/8 tsp
        flour ¼ cup
        butter 2 tsp
        pepper 1/8 tsp
        You can increase amounts as you believe necessary for your needs.
        Because gravy is a "taste test as you go" item on the menu, making adjustments in the formula are not difficult. To be safe, as far as flour is concerned, less is more; start with less and add (using a slurry) if and when you need to. Have a pan of chicken broth heated on a side burner to use in the event you need to thin it out. Herbs and spices should be added to taste, depending on your personal preference. The carrot sweetens things up; I don't personally like carrot in my gravy formula. To each his own.

        1. todao reminds me that Shirley O. Corriher says her mother thickened her gravy by using a handful of bread stuffing she reserved for that purpose. I've been doing that for a couple years now and, at least for Thanksgiving, I don't think I'll go back.

          Once you add it to the fats it sops it all up. Add a small amount of liquid and apply an immersion blender. Add additional liquid until it looks like your particular idea of gravy nirvana.

          1. I use 5 T. flour to 25 oz. (about 2-1/2 cups) liquid. I see no
            need for butter.

            5 Replies
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              On his latest Thanksgiving special, Alton Brown thickened his gravy with a flour slurry, and as a second step, with a potato starch slurry. He said the flour provided the velvety mouth feel, but a flour only gravy would thicken too much as it cools.

              There are 2 (main) types of starch, amylose and amylopectin. Wheat flour is a high amylose start, potato a bit lower. Amylose thickened sauce thickens as it cools. The amylopectin counters this. (There are a couple of nice pages on this Corriher's Cookwise book).

              1. re: paulj

                I've heard him say that before but such gravy thins again when it's rewarmed. I've never found it was an issue. And, if you needed to, it would be simple enough to add some additional stock -- either from T-day leftovers or the pantry.

                1. re: rainey

                  He was concerned about thickening half way through the main meal, not in leftovers.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I see. I missed that.

                    We put our gravy in a thermal carafe and it's not an issue in the course of a meal. Ironically, I think that was an Alton Brown tip from a million years ago. ...or it may have been a tip for keeping hollandaise warm but it works just as well for gravy.

                    1. re: rainey

                      In this episode, he kept it in a thermos until serving time, then into the gravy boat.