24 November 2009

Your Guide to Lump-Free Gravy

photo of gravy
photo courtesy of...whatscookingamerica.net (Edited to remove dead link)

This is the last in my series of Thanksgiving Day posts, so I hope the previous articles have given you some new ideas to try. The following gravy is flavored with the dripping from your turkey and is not made from the giblets. If you desire to use the giblets in your gravy, please click here: Emeril's Big Bird with Giblet Gravy. You will need to page-down a bit until you see the recipe. I have used this recipe as well and it is fantastic. I hope you all have a terrific Thanksgiving.

What you will need...

Turkey drippings
Butter...unsalted, please
Cardamom...To taste
Salt or 1-Chicken Bouillon Cube (crushed)...To taste
Pepper...To taste
For adding the flour and the butter (making the roux), I use a 1:1:1 ratio...1 Tbsp of butter to 1 Tbsp of flour to 1 Cup of liquid. I will be writing this recipe to accommodate 3 Cups of turkey drippings...

Putting it together...

  • Try and separate the fat from the turkey drippings
  • In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp butter
  • Once melted, add 3 Tbsp of flour and whisk to combine
    • Now is decision time. How dark do you want your gravy, because the longer you stay at this step, the darker your gravy will be. I like my gravy to be somewhat lighter, so I will whisk over medium heat for about 5 minutes. If you want your gravy darker, keep whisking. For a very dark gravy, as in a gumbo, you will be at this step for about twenty minutes
  • Once you reach your desired color, slowly add the 3 cups of turkey drippings; whisking constantly
  • add salt or crushed bouillon, pepper, and cardamom (cardamom has a rather strong flavor, so I like to start with this small amount and continue adding until I reach the desired flavor...start with a ½ tsp
  • Continue adding the pepper and cardamom, until you are happy with the flavor.
  • Continue whisking until the gravy boils (This is when it will reach its full thickening potential)
  • You should end up with a very tasty, lump-free gravy
  • If you need to delay service, take some plastic wrap and set it directly on top of the gravy. This will help prevent that wonderful "skin" from forming


Gravy seems to be "missing something"...I usually crush a chicken bouillon cube and add it to the gravy. This seems to correct the problem. If not, try adding some chicken stock or experiment with a little crushed sage or a very tiny amount of mace. If the gravy has too strong of a turkey flavor, you might want to dilute it with water or, if you don't mind a white gravy, add milk or cream.

Gravy is not thick enough...In a separate bowl, spoon-in about a half cup of your gravy and whisk an additional Tbsp of flour. Once well incorporated and no lumps visible, add it back into the main gravy and whisk well. Bring to a boil. If this does not thicken it to your liking, grab a bowl and place a tablespoon of flour in it. Then, take some of your hot gravy and mix it with the flour (if you add the flour directly into your gravy, you will get lumps, so we take this extra step). Once the flour is fully incorporated, mix it in with your gravy. Repeat until you get the your desired consistency.

Something else you might want to try...

  • Replace the cardamom with a spice called Grains of Paradise

Originally published as...My Thanksgiving Gravy


  1. Love the troubleshooting guide. Happy Thanksgiving

  2. happy thanksgiving for you, keep in thouch friend :D

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  4. Ann: Thank you. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too ;)

    soft: Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well :-)

    BeadedTail: Thank you. I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving, too ;-)

    Your Daily Cute: Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too :)


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