If my experiences of visiting friends and family for Thanksgiving festivities are any indication, gravy-making is becoming a lost art! Sure, you can buy the canned or jarred stuff at the store but the flavor and creative control of making your own just can't be beat.
I'll walk you through my favorite gravy method which I make 2-4 times/month all year to go with roast chicken (and sometimes beef).
Fat Chance Farm Herb and Lemon Gravy
Serves 4, generously (easily doubled for a crowd!)
At least 1/4 pound of bones, giblets and/or trimmings (for chicken I use the neck, heart, liver, backbone from spatchcocking and wingtips)
1-2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
Herbs of choice (I like loveage, rosemary and sage for chicken)
1/4 to 1/3 cup flour
Drippings from oven-roasted meat
1-2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice
1. As you prepare your chicken (or turkey, beef, etc.) put the neck, giblets and wingtips in a 1 qt. saucepan. Fill saucepan 3/4 full of water.
2. Season with salt, dried herbs of choice and white wine vinegar and cover. Bring to a simmer and simmer on medium to low heat for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour, still covered.
3. Remove from heat and use tongs to remove neck, giblets, etc. These can be saved for another round of stock or discarded. At this point, don't proceed with the gravy until the chicken is out of the oven and you have some drippings to add to the pot.
4. Once the chicken comes out of the oven, pour off any drippings and add to stock. Put stock and drippings on medium heat.
5. Put about 1/4 of flour into a small bowl, slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot stock, keep whisking until smooth. The mixture should be the texture of pancake batter, add more stock if too thick.
6. Bring the stock in the saucepan to a simmer. Pour in the flour mixture and quickly whisk to combine. Continue stirring as the gravy thickens. Keep the heat high enough that the gravy bubbles gently but not so high that it burns or sticks to the bottom.
7. After a minute or so of stirring while simmering, the gravy will have thickened as much as it is going to. If you prefer a thicker gravy, repeat steps 5 and 6 with a couple of additional tablespoons of flour.
8. Remove gravy from the heat and add lemon juice. Taste the gravy and add salt and/or more lemon juice as needed.
What to do with leftover gravy? Of course, you may not have any...but if you do, I like to add it to the leftover bones from roasted chicken for making chicken stock! The flavors bring a nice depth to stock and broth.