Gluten-Free Gravy (Turkey)
If you ask me, perfect gluten-free gravy is the most important thing on the holiday table and there never seems to be enough of it. Most people I know, wait until the turkey is out of the oven to start the gravy. In order to have lots of flavorful gravy, I make some ahead of time using turkey or chicken stock as the base. Then when the bird is out of the oven, I strain the drippings, skim off some the fat, if necessary, and pour it into the ready-made gravy. This method allows me to really inject some flavor, keeps me from having to do a lot of cooking at the last-minute and assures that there will be plenty of gravy for second and third helpings.
Even without pan drippings this gravy has plenty of flavor, so if you’re not making a turkey, this is a great recipe. The herbs, celery, carrot and onion will amp it up enough to satisfy.
To help ensure that my gluten-free turkey gravy is full of flavor, I like to make my own turkey stock a couple of days before my holiday meal using turkey necks, or wings. These parts are inexpensive and usually pretty easy to find int the fall and winter. Follow this link for my turkey stock recipe. If you don’t want to make your own stock, you can use ready-made low-sodium chicken or turkey stock. Be sure to get low sodium so you can control the salt level.
Do not fear making gravy, follow my step-by-step instructions and you’ll find it really easy. I have tried to anticipate any problems that arise when making gravy and have provided solutions to the common gravy catastrophes.
NOTE: Depending on the rice flour you use, the thickening power may vary from what I have used. Rice flours vary greatly from super fine to somewhat coarse so if you find that your gravy is not thickening the way it should, I have provided some tips to fix it.
You can even make this gravy the day before without the pan drippings. Just reheat it when you’re ready to add them.
Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy
Serves about 6
3 Tbsp butter 1/2 onion roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped 1 carrot roughly chopped 3 Tbsp superfine white rice flour, Authentic Foods Superfine White Rice Flour is very good 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock a few sprigs of fresh parsley 2 bay leaves 2 fresh sage leaves or 1/4 tsp rubbed sage a sprig of fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried strained pan drippings salt and pepper to taste
Have ready for possible adjustments:
softened butter white rice flour low-sodium chicken or turkey stock potato starch
medium-sized pot wire whisk
wooden spoon fine mesh strainer large bowl
In a medium-sized pot, melt the butter over a medium flame. When it bubbles, throw in the onion, celery and carrot and cook over medium heat, stirring often for about 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
Sprinkle in the rice flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and flour have melted together smoothly. It will start out lumpy and chunky – don’t worry – just keep cooking and stirring and the mixture will smooth out. Cook for about 3-4 minutes stirring often.
Pour in the stock and immediately begin stirring with the wire whisk. Throw in all of the herbs. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. It is at the boil that the flour will begin to thicken the liquid. Once it boils, turn the heat down to low so that the gravy is simmering very gently.
Let’s check in. How is the thickness level?
Is it just right? Good. Go to “Next Step”
Is it just a bit too thin? That’s okay it will probably thicken up more in the next step. If not we’ll fix it later.
Is it too thick? No problem, add more stock, about 1/4 cup at a time until it thins out.
Most people would stop at this point because it looks like gravy. It’s important to keep going for 2 reasons. First, you want to time to cook out the raw, grainy flour taste and texture.
Second, we want plenty of time for the vegetables and herbs to give up their flavor to the gravy. Cook for another 20 minutes or longer, stirring every so often.
Strain the gravy with the fine mesh strainer. Return the strained gravy to the pot
Pour in the strained pan drippings and stir with the wire whisk.
Let’s check in again for the thickness level.
Is it just right? Great, go to “Final Step.”
Too thick? Add some stock just a little at a time. Go to “Final Step.”
Too thin? You have 2 good options:
Option #1: Make a Slurry
Mix 1 Tbsp potato starch with 3 Tbsp cold water. Turn the heat down to very low. While continually stirring with a wire whisk, pour in 1/2 of the slurry. Turn the heat up a little to let it bubble, stirring often. If it thickens up, go the final step below. If not go back to low heat and add the rest of the slurry with same instructions as above.
Option #2 Make a Buerre Manie
Fancy name-but pretty simple. I like this one because it adds extra butter and that means flavor. Mix 1 tbsp white rice flour with 1 Tbsp softened butter to form a paste. Turn the flame down to low, drop in 1/2 of the paste and stir. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. If it thickens up go to the final step below. If not repeat with the rest of the buerre manie.
Final Step: If any lumps formed when you added the additional thickening you can strain again. Season with salt and pepper.