Expert Tips That Will Make All Your Thanksgiving Gravy Goals a Reality

From using the perfect ingredients (fresh herbs!) to perfecting your whisking technique, here's how to let your gravy shine, literally and figuratively, this holiday season.

November 15, 2019

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Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, the classic sides – after you’ve worked hard to perfect those Thanksgiving dishes the rest is gravy, right?

Oh, wait. What about the gravy?! You definitely don’t want to overlook that essential element of your holiday table – the savory sauce that holds it all together. And, speaking of holding it all together, you REALLY don’t want gravy that’s … gluey. (Gluey is eww-y!)

But how do you keep your gravy from being thick and lumpy? And how do you maximize flavor? In a recent live Q&A on the Food Network Kitchen app, Food Network’s Managing Culinary Producer, Larisa filled us in.

She said:

Be prepared with the basics: Make sure you have drippings from your turkey, butter (if you don’t have enough fat left over), and either all-purpose flour or cornstarch (the latter will make your gravy glossier than the former, which is the classic) on hand before you start. Larisa says, you’ll also want to have herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme for flavor, parsley to brighten things up,” and bay leaves to add depth on the back end.

Avoid lumps: Never dump your cornstarch or flour right into the gravy. That will make your gravy tighten up and get lumpy. Instead, dilute it slowly and gradually in water, creating a slurry that can be used to thicken the gravy. And don’t rush it, Larisa warns — otherwise your gravy could turn into pudding.

Fend off gluiness: Overworking your gravy can lead to gumminess or chewiness. Keep whisking as you add your thickener, but once your gravy comes together and you’ve eliminated lumps, “let it be”.

What should you do if you don’t have a turkey? Need a hack for handling your fresh herbs? Wondering which butter is best to use in your gravy? Don’t worry; Larisa covers all of that (and more) in her Q&A — which you can watch on demand on our all-new Food Network Kitchen app. You’ll be able to join your favorite Food Network chefs' live classes and learn pastry techniques, ideas for time-saving shortcuts and so much more.

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