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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.