Chicken Gravy (or Turkey!)

This Chicken Gravy recipe can be made in less than 10 minutes with or without pan drippings and tastes 1000X better than the packaged stuff.  It is fabulous on turkey too!

Chicken Gravy makes everything better!  This recipe is luxuriously smooth, savory, garlicky, laced with herbs and elevated with my secret ingredient. Best of all, this homemade gravy is made with pantry friendly ingredients including chicken broth, butter, flour, and spices so you can whip it up any time those comforting cravings strike – without roasting a chicken first!  This chicken broth gravy is fabulous over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, rice, poutine, chicken, turkey, etc. and can also be used for Hawaiian haystacks. This recipe also reheats and freezes beautifully for meal prep or make ahead dinners! 

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how to make homemade chicken gravy video

up close of pouring chicken gravy over mashed potatoes

CHICKEN GRAVY recipe

Knowing how to make homemade chicken gravy that tastes this good, in a matter of minutes, is a culinary skill you’ll use on repeat.  This gravy is a comforting, swaddling hug of flavor and luxuriously smooth, savory texture.  It’s an adaptation of my Crockpot Chicken and Gravy recipe with rave reviews made into a quick stovetop version.

Why YOu’ll love this recipe:

  • it elevates everything it touches from bland to flavorful, dry to creamy, boring to heavenly
  • it’s the best of easy, rustic comfort food but formal enough for special occasions
  • it can be made with or without chicken drippings, with all flour or all cornstarch or my favorite method, a mixture of the two
  • it’s made in minutes with pantry friendly ingredients
  • it’s made flour and cornstarch for half the fat and the best consistency
  • it’s easy to scale up or down
  • it can be made ahead or frozen
  • is versatile – make it YOUR perfect consistency and flavor

In short, this homemade chicken gravy recipe is magical.  You will be blown away at how the humble, everyday ingredients transform into a mesmerizing gravy that you’ll be strongly tempted to guzzle. So, guzzle on, or serve the gravy over potatoes, biscuits, rice, chicken, turkey, alongside fried chicken, etc.

What are chicken drippings?

Chicken gravy, (as well as turkey gravy and beef gravy) traditionally start with drippings.  Drippings are what’s left in the bottom of the roasting pan after you’re done roasting the chicken – all of the chicken bits, fat, herbs and spices that have melted off of the chicken.  The drippings boast concentrated flavor which translate into incredible gravy.  So, if you have roasted a chicken (or turkey), make sure to save the drippings, you can even freeze them for later.  If you haven’t roasted a chicken, you can still make incredible gravy with this recipe instead!

two hands holding a plate with chicken gravy recipes over potatoes

Chicken Gravy From Drippings

If you’ve roasted your own chicken, don’t throw away the drippings, those are flavor gold!  Scrape them up and add them to a liquid measuring cup, skim off the fat, then add enough broth to equal 2 cups total.   Make the chicken gravy recipe as written, but begin my omitting the chicken bouillon.  Your drippings will likely be flavorful enough that the gravy won’t need it.  After the gravy is cooked, give it a taste and if it still needs a little oomph of flavor, then add chicken bouillon ¼ teaspoon at a time.

Can I make gravy without chicken drippings?

Yes!  That is where this chicken gravy recipe comes in!  To replicate the flavor of chicken drippings, we add chicken bouillon to the gravy.  It infuses the gravy with intense flavor to make it taste like it’s come from a roasted chicken! Chicken bouillon is created by blending ingredients such as roasted chicken meat, vegetables including onions, celery and carrots, and various seasonings, spices and herbs. It’s all the flavor without all the work.

Should You Make Gravy with a Roux or a Slurry?

You may be wondering why this homemade chicken gravy has both flour and cornstarch, or a roux and a slurry.  I did a side by side taste taste of an all flour gravy, all cornstarch gravy and a combination of flour and cornstarch – the winner hands down was the flour and cornstarch gravy. But first things first, what is a roux?  A slurry?  

  • A roux is a fancy word for cooking fat (usually butter but can also be oil or a combination of the butter and oil), with flour until smooth in order to thicken gravies and sauces.
  • slurry is made of cornstarch whisked with a cold liquid, typically water or broth, until smooth.  The slurry is then added to liquid and simmered in order to thicken.

I prefer to use a roux and slurry because:

  • 1) You don’t need as much butter in the roux so the gravy has half the fat!
  • 2) You reap the benefits of the flavorful roux instead of a flavorless, watery slurry.
  • 3) You reap the benefits of a rich, creamy roux based gravy and a smoother, silkier slurry based gravy AKA the ideal texture and consistency.
  • 4) You avoid the overly shiny gumminess that often is associated with slurry gravies.
top view of how to make chicken gravy in a skillet by stirring until smooth

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN GRAVY recipe

This homemade chicken gravy requires barely any prep work and has such a short ingredients list. Here’s all you’ll need:

  • Butter: provides the base of the roux which make the gravy rich and flavorful. Use unsalted butter so we can add chicken bouillon without the gravy being too salty.
  • All-purpose flour: is melted with the butter to thicken the gravy.  I’ve only made this recipe with all-purpose flour, but I imagine a 1:1 gluten-free flour substitute could also be used. 
  • Cornstarch: is also used to thicken the gravy and helps make it extra smooth.
  • Chicken broth: please use reduced sodium chicken broth so your gravy isn’t too salty.  Low sodium chicken broth also allows us to use chicken bouillon – a flavorful secret weapon.
  • Chicken bouillon: just one teaspoon adds the rich, deeply satisfying chicken flavor as if it came directly from chicken drippings.  You can use granulated bouillon (powder), bouillon cubes or better than bouillon/chicken base all in equal amounts.  Add the bouillon directly to the broth without dissolving in liquid first. If using cubes, you will need 1 cube which you crush up and then add directly to the broth.
  • Dried herbs and spices: dried parsley, thyme, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper layers the gravy with just the right amount of flavor.  

How to make chicken gravy

Are you ready to see just how easy this homemade chicken gravy recipe is to make?

  • Step 1:  Make the roux.  Melt the butter in a saucepan, then whisk in the flour. Cook for a couple minutes to remove the raw flour smell and taste before whisking in the broth.
showing how to make chicken gravy recipe by whisking flour with butter in skillet
  • Step 2: Make the slurry.  You can do this a couple of ways.  Either add the cornstarch to a liquid measuring cup and whisk in all the broth; or if you don’t have a liquid measuring cup, add some of the broth to the skillet, then whisk the cornstarch into the remaining broth in the measuring cup, then add to the skillet.   
  • Step 3:  Add the seasonings. Stir in the chicken bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika, and pepper. 
showing how to make homemade chicken gravy recipe by whisking in chicken broth and seasoniongs
  • Step 4:  Simmer.  Simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the gravy reaches desired consistency.
showing how to make chicken gravy recipe by whisking until smooth

How do I thicken the gravy?

Continue to simmer the gravy until it thickens to your desired consistency, taking into consideration that it will thicken after you remove it from heat and it cools somewhat.  If your gravy is too thin after simmering for 8 minutes and cooling for 10 minutes, then make a cornstarch slurry by whisking 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon broth or water until completely dissolved then whisking it into the gravy. Bring the gravy to a simmer until thickened.  Repeat if needed.

How do I thin the gravy?

Thin the gravy by whisking in additional chicken broth.  The gravy will also thicken as it cools, so just return it to heat and whisk in chicken broth until smooth and it thins to desired consistency.

How to make Chicken Gravy With drippings

Making chicken gravy with drippings is very similar to making it without, but you’ll want to add the drippings + broth to equal 2 cups. Here’s how:

  • First, add drippings (liquid, herbs fat) from the bottom of your roasting pan to a degreasing cup to skim off fat when poured.
  • If you don’t have a degreasing cup, you can either: 1) Add the drippings to a liquid measuring cup and let it sit for a few minutes for the fat to rise to the top (helps to pop it in the freezer); or 2) Add the drippings to a large freezer bag and allow the fat to separate to the top. Seal the bag and hold it over a 2+ cup liquid measuring cup so that one bottom corner tip is facing down into the measuring cup like a spout. Make a small cut in this corner with scissors. The bottom liquid broth will flow through the cut made into the bag without the fat and into the large measuring cup. Stop when you reach 2 cups or the fat.
  • To the drippings in the liquid measuring cup, add enough broth to equal 2 cups.  
  • Proceed with the recipe as written but omit the bouillon because the drippings already have a lot of flavor.  At the end of cooking, add bouillon ¼ teaspoon at a time to taste if needed.

Homemade Chicken Gravy, without flour:

If you would like to make this chicken gravy recipe without flour, it can be done but it won’t be as rich and creamy.  The general rule for thickening gravies or sauces is to use roughly 2 parts flour to one part cornstarch, or in other words, you need about half the amount of cornstarch as flour. 

So, in this recipe you will need a total of 3 tablespoons cornstarch.  Whisk the cornstarch with some of the cold chicken broth until it is completely dissolved before adding the broth to the skillet and then bring the gravy to a simmer.  If you attempt to dissolve cornstarch in warm liquid, it will seize, cause lumps and never dissolve, which means you’ll end up with a lumpy, thin gravy.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN GRAVY, WITH ALL FLOUR

To make this chicken gravy broth with all flour, increase the butter to 4 tablespoons and increase the flour to ¼ cup.

TIPS FOR MAKING homemade CHICKEN GRAVY

  • Cook the flour long enough.  Cooking the flour with the butter is important because it removes the raw flour taste and smell.  It also melts the flour which helps it seamlessly blend with the broth without any lumps. 
  • Add the broth over low heat and whisk constantly.  I even turn my stove off sometimes when adding the broth.  The idea is to slowly whisk the broth into the roux over low heat because this gives the flour a chance to dissolve first.  If you add the broth when the pot is too hot, then the starch around each lump of flour expands when it comes into contact with hot liquid, forming a sort of waterproof gel that prevents the granules from dissolving properly.
  • Season to taste.  As with all recipes, make it your own!  With this recipe, you’ll want to season to taste at the very end and add salt to taste. The amount of seasonings will depend on personal preference and what you are serving the gravy with. If you are serving the gravy over simple, mashed potatoes, you may wish to increase the seasonings. If you are serving the gravy over already seasoned chicken, you may wish to leave the seasonings alone.

What do you Eat with chicken broth Gravy?

Chicken broth gravy is delicious in countless ways!   Here are some suggestions for dishes to serve with gravy, but don’t let this limit your imagination!

  • Chicken:  of course!  Serve this gravy over chicken breasts, chicken thighs, store-bought rotisserie chicken, turkey or even beef or pork.  Add some roasted or steamed veggies for an easy gourmet dinner.
  • Potatoes:  garlic mashed potatoes and gravy are a match made in heaven. You can also serve chicken gravy over crockpot mashed potatoes.  Mashed sweet potatoes would also be a delicious spin.
  • Other potatoes:  serve gravy over twice baked potatoes or as a dip for roasted potatoes or potato wedges.
  • Rice:  I love the textural contrast of creamy gravy with al dente rice, so good. Use jasmine, brown rice, wild rice, etc. or you can also use microwave rice pouches if you’re making a serving for one.
  • Bread:  pour the gravy over biscuits for biscuits and gravy or dunk in biscuits, warm rolls or bread.
  • Vegetables:  use the gravy as a dip for any of your roasted or sautéed veggies. 
  • Breakfast:  a side of gravy is always delicious poured over an omelette, with hash browns, frittata, quiche, sausage breakfast casserole, or tater tot breakfast casserole.
  • Haystacks:  if you know, you know.  Top individual rice servings with gravy, rotisserie chicken, then choose from a buffet of toppings such as pineapple tidbits, celery, broccoli, bell peppers, shredded carrots, thawed petite frozen peas, olives, green onions, tomatoes, raisins, coconut, slivered almonds, crunchy chow Mein noodles, etc. 
  • Chicken Rolls:  toss shredded chicken with gravy and pile on warm Hawaiian rolls.   

RECIPE VARIATIONS TO TRY 

  • Mix up the herbs.  You can swap the oregano/thyme for sage, rosemary marjoram, etc. or play with proportions.
  • Make a mushroom gravy.  Use this recipe as an outline for how I caramelize my mushrooms.  No sad, soggy mushrooms here!
  • Add sour cream:  For an extra lavish gravy reminiscent of chicken stroganoff, stir in ½ cup sour cream at the end of cooking.  To ramp up the stroganoff flair, add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and ½ teaspoon ground mustard.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT CHICKEN GRAVY 

  • How to store: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • How to reheat: the gravy will thicken as it cools, but will thin again once reheated.  You can reheat leftovers over potatoes, etc. in the microwave or to reheat all of the gravy, gently warm in a saucepan, adding additional broth or water as needed to thin to desired consistency, whisking until smooth. 

CAN I FREEZE homemade CHICKEN GRAVY? 

Yes, this this gravy recipe freezes well since it’s a flour-based gravy rather than a cream-based gravy. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container or smaller freezer bags and squeeze out excess air.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat per above instructions.

up close of chicken broth gravy over potatoes with herbs

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up close of chicken broth gravy over potatoes with herbs

Chicken Gravy

Chicken Gravy makes everything better!  This recipe is luxuriously smooth, savory, garlicky, laced with herbs and elevated with my secret ingredient. Best of all, this homemade gravy is made with pantry friendly ingredients including chicken broth, butter, flour, and spices so you can whip it up any time those comforting cravings strike -without roasting a chicken first!  This chicken broth gravy is fabulous over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, rice, poutine, chicken, turkey, etc. and can also be used for Hawaiian haystacks. This recipe also reheats and freezes beautifully for meal prep or make ahead dinners! 
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (see notes)
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ tsp EACH dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

If Using Drippings (Optional)

  • Transfer the drippings to a gravy fat separator or a liquid measuring cup and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the fat to separate to the top (helps to pop it in the fridge or freezer). Skim the fat off of the liquid measuring cup or pour the grease out of the fat separator. Add enough broth to the drippings to equal 2 cups.  
  • Proceed with the recipe below but omit the bouillon because the drippings already have a lot of flavor.  At the end of cooking, add bouillon ¼ teaspoon at a time to taste if needed.

Gravy

  • Whisk the cornstarch and broth together in liquid measuring cup or bowl until smooth; set aside.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the raw flour smell is gone.
  • Reduce heat to low, give the chicken broth/cornstarch a stir (to recombine) and slowly whisk it into the skillet. Add the chicken bouillon and all seasonings.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, and continue to simmer until thickened to desired consistency. If the gravy becomes too thick, whisk in additional chicken broth.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • The gravy will thicken as it cools. To restore, heat over medium-low and whisk in additional broth to thin back to desired consistency.

Video

Notes

  • Chicken bouillon: you can use granulated bouillon (powder), bouillon cubes or better than bouillon/chicken base all in equal amounts.  Add the bouillon directly to the broth without dissolving in liquid first. If using cubes, you will need 1 cube which you crush up and then add directly to the broth.
  • For all flour gravy: increase butter to 4 tablespoons and flour to ¼ cup.  All flour gravy is richer, but almost too rich in my opinion.
  • For all cornstarch gravy: omit the butter and flour at the beginning and increase the cornstarch to 3 tablespoons. Add 1 tablespoons butter at the end of cooking to finish.  All cornstarch gravy is less rich and creamy and becomes gummier when cooled/frozen.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

  • How to store: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: transfer leftovers to an airtight container or smaller freezer bags and squeeze out excess air.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat per instructions.
  • How to reheat: the gravy will thicken as it cools, but will thin again once reheated.  Gently warm in a saucepan, adding additional broth or water as needed to thin to desired consistency, whisking until smooth. 

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2 Comments

  1. I'manee Marie says

    Wow! This gravy was a hit with the family! Everyone couldn’t get enough! And it was so easy to make. Thank you for creating and sharing! I would never think to add the seasonings you did, but they were such a great addition!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for being the first to review this recipe I’manee Marie, I’m thrilled everyone loved it so much!

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