Aside from cranberry sauce, there is no better coupling with a roast chicken or turkey than a hearty and flavourful gravy. However, if you want to make some things ahead of time, many wonder if they can make a delicious chicken gravy without drippings. And the answer is absolutely yes.
You do not need pan drippings in order to make a completely delicious and robust gravy. In fact, I quite literally never make gravy with the drippings of a chicken or turkey and I’m always pleased with my results.
Using homemade stock really amps up the flavour, but this gravy recipe without dripping will still be great using store-bought stock.
So if you want to make some gravy ahead of time or are keen to roast your bird atop some potatoes or something else, then follow this chicken gravy without drippings recipe for some of the best gravy you’ll ever taste.
How to Make Gravy Without Drippings
There aren’t a bunch of ingredients in this chicken gravy without pan drippings recipe so it’s a good idea to start with the best you can find. This is why I highly recommend using homemade chicken stock rather than store-bought.
Or, if you have the time, fortify some storebought chicken stock with the neck, giblets and back (if you’ve spatchcocked your bird) of your chicken and a few aromatics (onions, celery, carrots and hearty herbs). Simmer these with store-bought stock for an hour or two. You won’t regret this.
Moving onto the gravy recipe, we will start with making a roux. If you’re wondering how to thicken gravy without cornstarch, this is it, and it will also add more flavour than a cornstarch slurry will.
In a medium saucepan, melt some butter over medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted and beginning to foam, add some flour.
Whisk constantly until the raw flour smell begins to cook off and it starts to give off a faint, nutty aroma. This will take about 3-5 minutes.
Now comes the first flavour booster! Whisking constantly (because that’s how to make gravy without lumps!), pour in a bit of tawny port. This adds a sweetness and acidity to the gravy.
Now, if you don’t have port (or don’t care to buy it), then use a full-bodied red wine such as merlot, primitivo or shiraz. And if you don’t want to use alcohol at all, then whisk in a bit of balsamic vinegar at this stage.
After adding the port, still whisking constantly, add a bit of soy sauce. This boosts the savouriness and umami of the gravy and makes it taste absolutely delicious.
You will notice that your roux has tightened up and is really thick at the moment. Don’t be alarmed, this is very normal and it will loosen up as soon as you add your chicken stock.
Speaking of, whisking constantly (we don’t want lumps!), pour in your chicken stock and then bring the whole mixture up to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, tie together some hearty herbs like thyme and sage (marjoram and rosemary will also work well here) with some butcher’s twine.
Toss the herb bundle into the gravy and season generously with salt and pepper.
Allow the gravy to simmer very gently on low heat for about fifteen to twenty minutes, until the flavours of the herbs have steeped into the sauce.
Remove the herb bundle and taste the gravy to adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately or allow the gravy to cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. Heat up on the stovetop before serving.
- 25g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 25g (3 tablespoons) flour
- 60ml (1/4 cup) tawny port (see note)
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) soy sauce
- 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- Salt & pepper
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until foaming. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the raw flour smell cooks off and it gives off a faint, nutty scent.
- Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the port and soy sauce. The roux will seize up and steam, but do not be alarmed.
- When the alcoholic smell has dissipated (about 1 minute), stream in the chicken stock while whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Tie thyme and sage springs together with some butcher's twine and add them to the pot. Bring the gravy to a gentle simmer, season generously with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the herb flavour to infuse.
- Taste to adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Remove the sage and thyme bundle and serve immediately.
If you don't have port, use a full-bodied red wine such as shiraz or merlot. If you'd like to make this alcohol-free, substitute the port (or wine) with 15ml (1 tablespoon) of balsamic vinegar and follow the recipe as written.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Making poultry gravy without pan drippings is super easy and it comes out absolutely delicious. The great thing about this recipe is that it works perfectly for both chicken and turkey!
Are you wondering how to make a gravy for roast chicken without drippings? Have any questions about the recipe? Let me know in the comments!