Simple Brown Gravy

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It is so easy to make your own gravy even when you do not have pan drippings to use for it. I wish I had a gravy picture right now but, alas, I could not find one. Here is a Rottweiler puppy sticking his tongue out instead.

First, simmer your chicken stock with your favorite herb or aromatic to give the gravy some unique flavor. I like to simmer my chicken stock with a couple bay leafs, a couple garlic cloves, a sprig of thyme, a sprig of rosemary, and a little bit of sage. If you are in a rush, you can just heat up your chicken stock in the microwave with some or all of these ingredients. Once your stock has heated up and had a little time to mingle with its new friends, remove the herbs and or garlic from the stock. You will need to make about 15 oz of chicken stock for every ¼ cup of butter you use in your roux.

A roux (pronounced “roo”) might sound fancy, it’s totally not once you make it and see how simple it is. A roux is generally used to thicken a sauce and consists of equal parts of flour and a fat (usually butter). In order to create equal parts of butter and flour in weight you actually need a 1 to 2 ratio in volume. In other words, you need ½ cup of flour for every ¼ cup of butter.

When I make this gravy just for Gar and I, I usually don’t need that much so I melt ¼ cup butter in a shallow pan and add ½ cup flour. Continuously stir the roux on a medium heat (maybe slightly higher than medium) until it becomes light to medium brown in color. You may get impatient with the stirring as I always do but it’s important to stick with it. You do not want your roux to burn and get dark brown and have to repeat the monotonous stirring process again. Once your roux is done, add your chicken stock in small portions and stir. Add chicken stock until the gravy is your desired thickness.

I remember when I first made this gravy years ago, I thought that I needed a lot more roux for the amount of chicken stock I though I was going to use so I doubled the amount of roux my friend said I needed. When I went to add the chicken stock, my roux devoured it and barely became thinner. I added all the chicken stock I had in the house and still ended up with a mixture that was way too thick to be gravy… woops. Don’t let that happen to you. Trust that a small amount of roux will thicken a good amount of liquid.