Please tell me you are not serving gravy made from a powdered mix this year at Thanksgiving. There is no reason why you cannot whip up a batch of homemade gravy for Thanksgiving, or any other meal. I used to be intimidated by homemade gravy. It seemed so complicated and there were always lumps of flour that refused to be whisked into submission. There were too many things that could go wrong.
Fear no more! This gravy recipe is foolproof. The gravy gets thick from a slurry, rather than flour. A slurry is cold liquid mixed with cornstarch until it is smooth and glossy. This slurry can be used to thicken stews, soups and of course, gravy. I find this step to be the key to a smooth gravy, because you remove the lumps before it ever goes into the gravy. Cornstarch actually has twice the thickening power than flour.
There are three things that constitute a delicious a gravy (IMHO):
1 - Smooth, silky texture, absolutely no lumps
2 - No raw flour taste
3 - You must use a delicious broth or the gravy will not taste good
I especially love this recipe because it can be made with or without pan drippings. Sometimes I just want some gravy to serve along side mashed potatoes and there are obviously no drippings that come from mashed potatoes. Now you can make gravy at any time!
5 tablespoons butter (to use drippings, replace butter with 5 T. drippings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and minced
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons brandy
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or Swanson's organic chicken broth (most like homemade)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste