Until I had discovered how simple (not to mention thrifty!) it is to make fresh chicken stock, making gravy had never been an issue – you simply spooned the granules out of the tub into a jug and poured over boiling water…nothing could be easier.
But then I did make stock and it was a natural progression to give the gravy thing a go. Now, I never have been a great lover of gravy to be honest… a splash over the roast potatoes is plenty for me but the rest of the family are all hardened gravy addicts – the thicker the better and lashings of it!
When I was young, my mum (who could never be considered an enthusiastic cook!) would stand over the hob and make gravy…no granules in those days, just the Bisto powder to make it a bit easier! So, I reasoned that if she could manage that then a tasty gravy with my own home made stock should easily be within my capabilities!
So, once the chicken was cooked it was lifted out of the roasting pan and left to relax on it’s roasting rack.
Most of the fat is then drained from the pan, leaving behind the meat juices and about 2 tablespoons of fat before the roasting pan is then put on the hob over a medium heat. I was aiming to make about 1 pint of gravy so I added 1½ rounded tablespoons of plain flour, which was stirred into the fat and juices until a paste was formed and continued to stir for about a minute.
Slowly, the fresh chicken stock is added, stirring all the time until the gravy is the thickness you like. It will need plenty of seasoning so lots of freshly ground black pepper and salt (add in small amounts and keep tasting!)
Now, this gravy is very pale so a few drops of gravy browning can be added to give a lovely rich colour if desired.
Finally, for a really smooth gravy, I strained it through a fine sieve to remove any lumps and bits from the pan.
The difference in taste when compared to gravy granules was really amazing – I can honestly say I am now a gravy convert!! You really should try it to see for yourself!!