The thing is, making good gravy is really simple. But, as a cookery writer I can't help but add a few twists of my own. The basic recipe here is my mother's, but I have added soy sauce rather than gravy browning to give a depth of colour and flavour and I also added some fresh herbs from the garden to liven the gravy up a bit.
As soy sauce is quite salty you do not need any additional salt in this recipe. Following my mother, I always add cold water to a gravy as this ensures you have a smooth base gravy with no lumps.
Herbed Chicken Gravy Recipe
5–6 tbsp roasting juices from the chicken
1 tbsp (heaped), plain flour
250ml cold water
60ml port wine (this gives a good depth of flavour, but you can add more water if you want)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp winter savory leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
Place a pan over medium heat and add the chicken roasting juices. Scatter over the flour and stir into the pan juices to form a smooth roux. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute to darken the roux then work in the water, a little at a time, until you have a smooth paste.
Now, whilst whisking constantly add the remainder of the water and then the port wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly then add the soy sauce.
You should now have a dark gravy that will thicken as you cook it further. Cook for about 10 minutes more, or until the gravy has thickened to your liking. If you are not going to serve immediately, cover the top of the gravy with a sheet of clingfilm (plastic wrap) as this will prevent a skin from forming. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting to just keep the gravy warm.
When almost ready to serve, work the herbs into the gravy, bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until piping hot.
Take off the heat, pour into a gravy boat and serve.
A gravy is basically a simple sauce to be served with meat. If you want more complex sauces, vegetarian gravies or other accompanies, why not check out the Celtnet Sauce Recipes page.
Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.