Thanksgiving Prep: Fork You Makes Gravy

November 22, 2009(updated on December 16, 2023)

Long before I was putting food in jars on a regular basis, I was making a little online cooking show called Fork You. One of the first episodes Scott and I (long before the idea that we’d ever marry each other was even a glimmer of a possibility) made was in the fall of 2006, where we outlined my father’s sure-fire, no-fail method for making large amounts of turkey gravy.

Essentially, a day or two before your holiday meal, you toast a couple of cups of flour in a dry frying pan over medium low heat until it’s a dark and nutty. It takes anywhere between 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your pan and the amount of flour you’re toasting. As it heats, you keep the flour moving around the pan, to prevent burning (run your exhaust fan as you toast, and don’t walk away, it goes from perfectly toasted to burnt in an instant).

The day of your meal, when you’re putting your turkey in the oven, you start a pot of turkey broth, using the neck/giblets/trimmings and some veggie scraps. When it’s time to make gravy, you make a roux (this isn’t a true roux, but it’s close) with a few tablespoons of the toasted flour (sift after toasting) and some turkey drippings and slowly expand it with the broth, additional toasted flour and whatever turkey drippings you can spare. The amount of gravy you make depends almost entirely upon how much broth you make and how much flour you toast (you may not end up using all the flour you toast, but it’s always better to toast too much as opposed to not enough, because when you’re making gravy, there’s rarely time to stop and toast more flour).

For those of you who need a visual understanding of how to do what I’ve just described, here’s the video we made lo those many years ago.

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6 thoughts on "Thanksgiving Prep: Fork You Makes Gravy"

  • Nice and timely post! My MIL always toasted the flour too but I had forgotten that. Starting toasted flour now…

  • Forgive me for being presumptuous, but I think the idea of you two being a couple was in Scott’s mind. He obviously loves you in this video. 🙂 Am I right or am I right or am I right?

  • I do find some interesting tidbits on this blog, but unfortunately this is not one of them. There’s some bad cooking advise here and it’s needs some modification. Their are three problems with the process as described.

    1. That is way too much four.
    2. Do not pre toast flour for a roux.
    3. Do not add dry flour to a sauce.

    The basic formula for a roux is;
    one tablespoons of fat + one tablespoons of flour will thicken one cup of liquid.
    Now the article mentions you need to toast a couple of cups of flour, so for the sake of argument we’ll say she means two cups. Two cups of four will thicken 32 cups of gravy. That just sounds like way too much to me.

    When you make a roux your toasting the four in the process of making the roux. It’s hard enough getting the right kind of roux when making it with raw flour. It’s very easy to burn and if you pre cook the flour the chances of burning greatly increase. When making gravy you only need a blond roux, It should be blond in color and will only take a few minutes to cook. The darker roux are only needed for specialty dishes such as gumbo.

    Next you never want to add dry four to a gravy. It will clump when you do this. Glutton will form around bits of dry flour which will create pockets of dry flour that are near possible to get rid of.

    The idea for the broth is a good one and I will be trying that one out tomorrow.

  • I just made some amazing gravy. Again. For the fourth time since the holiday. Thank you. I’ll have to tuck this away for future. I’ve had more gravy in the last week than I’ve had in years.