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25 November 2009

gluten-free gravy

making gluten-free gravy

Of all the questions I have received about Thanksgiving this week, the number one topic — by far — has been gluten-free gravy.

People, it is easier than it seems.

Let us walk you through it.

First, make sure you have a good stock (chicken or turkey, if you eat meat), homemade if possible. If not, be sure to splurge on a good-quality stock. Make sure it's gluten-free.

Next, have some butter. Unsalted, please. You want to control how salty your gravy is. (And if you can't eat butter, we've had some real success with Earth Balance buttery sticks. I have fooled Danny a few times with these.)

You'll need some kosher salt.

And one or two gluten-free flours.

We like sorghum flour. And sweet rice flour. Lately, we make a combination of the two. That's to make a roux.

If you want to make a slurry, try cornstarch.

To make a roux, simply combine equal parts butter and gluten-free flour. I'll let you watch the video to see how. It won't be quite as stiff as a gluten roux, but it will be close. Cook the roux until it is the color of a brown paper bag. Set it aside.

Heat up the stock to near boiling. In small portions, about 1 tablespoon at a time, add the cooked roux into the stock.

(In the past, Danny had you build the roux and then add in the liquid, the way you do with traditional gravy. But this step of adding the roux in, bit by bit, works better with gluten-free gravy.)

Whisk. Vigorously. If you whisk and whisk while you add in the roux, you will not have lumpy gravy.

If you want to use a slurry, mix cornstarch and water until you have a gooey paste. Add this into the hot stock, a little at a time, until it thickens, whisking vigorously. Wait a few moments between each addition, so you don't end up with cement.

Wait to season the gravy with salt and pepper until the very end.

And that's it.

Really. That's it.

Well, here's a video, in case you are confused. (We've shown you this before, but it might be worth watching again.) And a recipe.

To quote Danny, "Gravy good." It's worth learning how to make it well.

Feel free to write with questions.

the Chef shows you how to make gluten-free mushroom gravy from Daniel Ahern on Vimeo.


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
2 cups chicken stock (or juices from the roasted turkey)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a pan on low to medium-low heat. When it has completely melted, sprinkle in the rice flour in small handfuls. Stir and stir. When you have added all the flour and the mixture has become coherent, let it cook in the pan for two to three minutes, stirring all the while. When it has cooked, it will be solidified and have a tinge of brown. Take the roux off the heat and let it rest for a moment.

Heat the stock on high heat. Slowly, in small amounts, add in bits of roux, whisking the mixture vigorously until all the liquid has been absorbed in the roux. Continue to do this, in small dribs and drabs, until the stock and roux have expanded and liquified into gravy. This will take awhile, perhaps ten minutes or so. Be patient. When you have reached the consistency you desire for the gravy, add salt and pepper. Taste the gravy, and season according to your taste. Take it off the burner and serve it, immediately.


At 4:54 PM, Anonymous אביזרי מין said...

Looks great - going to try it...

At 5:00 PM, Blogger RovingWeaver said...

Thank you!!!! It looks so easy! You are awesome. :-) Does the same theory apply for white gravy?

At 5:38 PM, Blogger TK Kenyon said...

Deeee-licious-looking. Can hardly wait to try this tomorrow! Sweet rice flour and sorghum sounds good. I was using potato starch with the slurry method, but a roux sounds so much better.

TK Kenyon

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Chelsey said...

This photo is soooo beautiful. I agree that sweet rice flour is a much less starchy tasting thickener than cornstarch, something I've just learned this month:)

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I posted on twitter this morning, my gravy either turns out like glop or water, no in between. I have been doing the traditional roux and then pouring stock into it, sometimes coming out with lumps or other oddities. I am excited to try your suggestions tomorrow. Thank you for helping us all out!

At 5:49 PM, Blogger evil cake lady said...

Thanks for this posting, and especially for the video! I still had some gravy problems, but nothing that the immersion blender couldn't fix. I am glad for the tips you gave, like adding the roux to the stock, and what a GF roux looks like. Thanks so much for all you do for all of us.

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I used it for gravy, used your pie crust recipe to build a lovely apple pie and made a gf stuffing that went with us to our neighbor's place. We were planning to skip tksgvng this year because i've recently had fibroid surgery but i was so perky last night we accepted the invitation and i spent the morning cooking. all turned out deee-licious! halfway through dinner the tired/crankies set in and when i walked into the kitchen, on the stove was my gravy, next to the other gravy-- with one stirring spoon in between.... lesson learned. gratitude, thankfulness and frustration, all rolled into one. happy thanksgiving to you and thank you for the recipes and encouragement....

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous KaylaRose said...

I just discovered your blog yesterday! I am wheat intolerant, but I don't have Celiac.
Anyways, while making thanksgiving dinner with my mum, who is also wheat intolerant, we ran out of regular flour just as we were able to make the gravy, and then I remembered that I had just read your gluten-free gravy recipe! We made it and it turned out fantastic! The wheat eaters around us didn't even notice and my mum and I felt very smug having made a gravy that we could both eat without a stomachache and it fooled the rest!
Thank you! I am officially hooked!

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

Oh how I love gravy!!!! Over anything at all.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous LaurieY said...

I made this gravy and it was deeeelish. (I used all of the turkey drippings, chicken stock and og butter)

Sweet white rice flour - worked great!

Just to experiment, I put 1/2 cup gravy, a wee bit of dark turkey meat and just a "little bit" of herby-crispy skin in the Cuisinart. Gave it a little whirl until pieces vanished, then added to remaining gravy.

We also made your stuffing with fresh herbs. Hello!!! Man, so good.

We had a feast! And will for the next 3 days. xoxox

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Berry K said...

I did something similar yesterday. Alene made a turkey breast slathered with olive oil and sage, and sage-cornbread dressing. I did what Shauna says for the gravy, except I used all sweet-rice flour and the fat from the roasting pan to make the roux, then the rest of the roasting juices as well as home-made chicken stock. It was yummy!

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Connie said...

I followed your recipe...and made some awesome turkey gravy yesterday! It was either that or my husband was going to use the (gag) plastic pouch gravy mix that came with the turkey!
I am eating GF, but hubby is not...he loved my GF gravy...thanks to your tasty recipe.

I do have to say that I made the roux twice. First time I sorta burnt just didn't seem to want to thicken.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger bltlt said...

I just got a tip to check out this site, and low and behold first 2 things I find are the chocolate cupcakes she recommended and this gravy instruction video! The two things I haven't had much success with adapting to gluten-free... OK, I've never been great at making a roux. I really appreciate the video for that reason, I'm going to have to try it again. Gravy will be a nice way to 'freshen' the leftovers! We had our first completely gf Thanksgiving this year and overall it came off very well, but sans gravy.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Judy said...

Love the site - so much great information! I also love your personal story of healing, it's so inspiring, and I totally burst into tears when I read the part about you being the muse. So sweet.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

I just found out that my IBS goes away on a dairy free, gluten free, egg free diet. Crap. Now I have to learn to cook all over again!For Thanksgiving, I tried to make a roux with coconut oil and rice flour. It made my gravy have a weird texture. But mixing cornstarch and water until it's like milk and then adding it to stock already heated worked so great. You are right it's not that hard. Thanks for the great ideas on doing it with a roux. I'll have to try yours since mine failed miserably.
Thanks for the blog, and I'm adding it as a fav to my blog, if you don't mind.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Green Acres in the City said...

I used your slurry idea. It made the best gravy the family raved about it. I also made your cornbread and baked gf bread to make the stuffing and my husband loved it. Thanks for your continued inspiration!

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Tracy said...

I just put some of the Flour Blend #4 from the CIA's gluten free cookbook and used the rest of my rice flour...shook it up with a little warm water in my tupperware shaker...added that to some turkey drippings and giblet stock...wisked it over heat...and it was Yummy! My husband claimed he could taste the grittiness of the rice flour but my sister and I who can eat gluten, thought it was great! Can't wait to try it your way!

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous StuffCooksWant said...

Sure wish I would have seen this last Wednesday before I left for the middle of nowhere. I ate dry turkey with no gravy and I realllly needed some gravy. Will bookmark for next year! Thanks!

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous june2 said...

Love how thorough Chef was with the inclusion of tips for vegan/veg methods at the end. Your questions were so specific and helpful too. You two are great partners! Thanks.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had really good luck with potato flour as well, using your method of creating the roux.

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Heather Dodge said...

I tried your gravy recipe on Thanksgiving and it was delicious. My family loved it, along with your stuffing recipe. They didn't even know the gravy and stuffing were gluten free until I told them after the meal. I also made your gingerbread, and it was delicious as well. Thank you so much!!!!

At 10:19 AM, Blogger marit said...

hello there. i'm super excited about reading more of your blog over the next few weeks. i've just started a gluten-free diet (went through my cubboards just this weekend... so much to purge!). and i finally picked up your book - i splurged on a hardback copy, somehow i just knew it was going to be that good. i totally couldn't put it down all weekend. thank you so much for your beautiful words, and your sense of hope ~ i'm finally excited about cooking! shopping was fun last night, expecially in the bob's red mill section. i'm still searching for sorghum flour... but i like the hunt. my first project will be granola, since that's what i've been craving. and i can't wait to try out this gravy.

there's something wonderfully freeing about boundaries, and trying to live gluten-free seems to be the same. i'm happy to have stumbled upon your blog, facebook page, and now you're book!!!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Green Key said...

Great video! I always add the stock to the roux, not the roux to the stock. I will have to try this the other way around! I imagine you have better control of the final thickness of the gravy using your method.
I am a big fan of potato flour (from Bob's Red Mill) for thickening sauces, gravies & soups. I started using it to thicken fruit pie fillings even before discovered my celiac disease. It works really well, and has a mild, pleasant flavor.

At 6:51 AM, OpenID pariskan said...

I always made gravy the old-fashioned way, and muddled through the lumps I got with the gluten-free flours. :)
Then I stumbled on to a similar method to yours a few weeks ago in a recipe for braised fennel. It called for simply mixing the flour with the butter and adding it, uncooked, to the hot stock. I found that with anything I've tried so far (cornstarch, potato starch, plain rice flour) that it thickens up nicely and makes a very tasty gravy without any lumps.

Is there a reason to cook the roux before adding it to the stock?

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous KefirGirl said...

great recipe!

At 3:02 PM, Blogger laurata said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! Do you think it would freeze well? I seem to remember my mom making double batches of gravy and freezing it when I was little. Then when she had a busy night she could pull it out and reheat it for a quick and easy topping for baked potatoes.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger apple green garden said...

I made your gravy and it was fabulous! thank you!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Annette said...

Where to begin...being an English teacher myself at Adelphi University, I love your book and blog. I'm newly diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and I really, really appreciate your writing talent and gift for cooking oh so yummy gluten-free meals. You've made my life so much easier and joyful! Thank you!
So I tried your gravy recipe that I looked up on your site right before Thanksgiving and it turned out so good my boyfriend and I couldn't stop eating it and moaning at the Thanksgiving table. Everyone was looking at us askance since they had canned gluten full (and I must say yucky) gravy. They had no idea what they were missing. I added the rice flour and mixed that with chicken broth and I added finely chopped, flavorful mushrooms in it. And oh! Yum! And yes, it was so easy I almost laughted.
Also I do have a few questions. What would you advise for those celiacs and those with gluten sensitivity who also have allergies like me, say allergies to chocolate, dairy, soy, egg and tomato? I would love to see some subsitute recipes with carob or Enger-G egg substitute. Would you consider that?
Also, since my diagnosis, like you, I feel this overwhelming urge to change the world, not just sink into what some refer to as a life of "deprivation." I LOVE the new grains I've found and I'm very interested in educating people about it. Would you consider or do you already wear a celiac awareness bracelet (like the one Lance Armstrong had)? I ordered mine a few days ago. This is getting to be a long response...sorry. Thanks!

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why try so hard, to mimic the world of gluten? Do we cling so much to these traditions? Are we so married to this texture, these flavours, that we repeat after ourselves, repeat? I simply do not miss gloppy sauce so much.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger ~ Marie ~ said...

Lazy Grazvy
Our house is a GF-IBS house... until the last few years a very lazy reluctant cook. Like you I make delicious gravy ...

One big sauce pan...a few tablespoons butter add to it Bob's GF pancake mix (no bean flower either) make the rue push it to the edge of the pan ... slowly add chicken broth to the other side to warm up and than whisk it together.
Wa La!

You are such an inspiration. Cheers!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger NatureWriter said...

I just found your blog and am thrilled for such support in a gluten-free lifestyle!

I love this gravy recipe. So simple. I recently made a gluten-free gravy with buckwheat flour, and was fascinated by how easy it was to avoid clumps, whereas traditional white/wheat flour is almost impossible to get smooth. So, advantages of gluten-free!

At 3:23 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

Hi Shauna and Danny
I have your new book and I love it. Some of your stories make me cry. Your love slips off the pages right into my kitchen, I swear.

My question about your gravy is this, can I make it many days ahead of Thanksgiving? How long will it keep in the fridge, maybe 3 days? Does it freeze well?

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Iris said...

I used your gravy technique for Thanksgiving last year and it turned out wonderful. I'm adding this link to my Thanksgiving recipe roundup. :)


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