Gravy is essential to a delicious and comforting Sunday roast, Thanksgiving day dinner, or Christmas meal. And it’s never tasted better. This is The BEST Chicken Gravy ever! What’s more, you can make it ahead to avoid the last-minute scramble of getting dinner on the table on time. It’s so full of flavor that you’ll never want to use gravy granules again!
Homemade Chicken Gravy Recipe
I’m super excited to share my favorite go-to gravy recipe for special occasions! Although it does take a bit of time to make, trust me when I say it’s totally worth it. Here’s my little secret: I make a big batch and freeze it, so I always have an amazing sauce on hand with hardly any effort.
Once you try it, you’ll see how it turns ordinary meals into something truly extraordinary.
Pour the Best Chicken Gravy over your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey for an extra burst of deliciousness. Drizzle it over creamy mashed potatoes or drench some roasted vegetables to make them extra tasty.
Why This Really Is The Best Chicken Gravy
- It’s a great recipe to make ahead. One of the best things about this chicken gravy is that you can save loads of time by making it in advance. Instead of preparing the gravy from scratch when it’s time to serve, simply reheat the gravy you made earlier. Easy! This is especially helpful when hosting a big gathering since it can be challenging to find time to make everything from scratch on the day itself.
- 100% real food. This gravy contains all-natural ingredients.
- It’s delicious. Make plenty, as your guests will be back for seconds!
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need from the grocery store to make this delicious homemade gravy:
- Free-Range Chicken Legs: Provide the necessary chicken flavor.
- Natural Chicken Stock: Homemade chicken stock or a good-quality store-bought stock provides the best results.
- Vegetables: Add fantastic flavor to the gravy. I’m using shallots, carrots, and celery and roasting them to bring out their sweetness.
- Fresh Herbs: For freshness.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Prevents the roasting chicken and vegetables from drying out and promotes caramelization.
- Butter: For richness and to make the gravy velvety smooth.
- Flour: To thicken and bind the gravy together. Wholewheat pastry flour, rice flour, or all-purpose flour are all suitable options.
- Tomato Paste (Purée): Adds more depth to the flavor. It also helps to thicken the gravy.
- Port: A splash of port adds another level of flavor.
- Raw Honey: A touch of sweetness balances out the rich ingredients.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper: A must to make the flavors pop!
How to Make The Best Chicken Gravy: Step-By-Step
Here’s how to make The Best Chicken Gravy in eight illustrated steps:
Place the chicken, vegetables, and herbs into a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season well, and give everything a good toss. Bake for 1 hour, turning once halfway through. Once cooked, the contents of the pan should be a deep golden brown.
Put a large saucepan or stockpot on medium heat. Add the butter and flour and cook off the raw flour taste.
Add the tomato paste (purée) and port and whisk to combine.
- Add Chicken Stock
Pour in the chicken stock and water, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Now, add the honey.
Carefully add the roast chicken, veggies, and aromatics to the pot of liquid. Make sure to get all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan – it’s an easy way to add flavor! Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer with the lid slightly ajar. The gravy will deepen in color and reduce by about a third.
Pour the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Pour into a gravy boat, and enjoy!
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩
- Raw Chicken: I’m using chicken legs in this recipe. However, chicken wings or drumsticks are a great option. I wouldn’t use rotisserie chicken as it’s already lost a lot of its juices. And we want those juices in our gravy.
- Turkey Gravy: If this gravy is for your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey, you could turn it into a make-ahead turkey gravy by using turkey legs or turkey wings. If you have your own turkey stock, that would be great here too. Then, add the turkey pan drippings on the big day for an extra flavor boost.
- Alcohol-Free Gravy: To make this recipe alcohol-free, you can use an alcohol-free red or white wine, grape juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, watered-down red vinegar, or water instead of port.
- Port: My secret ingredient! I always have port on hand for making sauces. I inherited that habit from my parents. However, red wine or white wine are good alternatives.
- Unami: I think this gravy is perfect as it is. But if you’re looking for even more savory depth to your gravy, many options exist. Try adding whole chestnut mushrooms to the roasting tray or dried porcini mushrooms to the simmering liquid. A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce and even a little marmite will add great flavor. Just be sure to taste as you go to avoid overdoing it!
- Start with good-quality ingredients: A flavorful gravy relies on good-quality ingredients.
- Seasoning to perfection: Choose a natural chicken stock or chicken broth with no added salt or one that is low in salt. The saltiness of the chicken stock will have a big impact on the overall flavor of the gravy. And we want to make sure we have total control over the seasoning. Be sure to taste your gravy as you cook and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Don’t worry about lumpy gravy: You will strain the gravy once it’s simmered to remove all the chicken bones and chunks of vegetables. Once you’ve done that, there won’t be any lumps in your gravy.
- My gravy is too thick. No problem. It could be that the lid was off during the simmer. Simply add some additional chicken stock or water to the gravy to thin it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This recipe contains flour, tomato paste (purée), and butter which all help to thicken the gravy as it cooks. The gravy also simmers on the stovetop for an hour, concentrating the flavor and reducing it further.
No! However, you can make this a gluten-free recipe by using gluten-free chicken stock and omitting the flour. The gravy will still thicken as it simmers and reduces, but you will need to simmer it longer until the gravy consistency is right for you. Alternatively, you can make a cornstarch slurry (cornflour slurry) and add it at the very end of the simmering time.
What to Serve with The Best Chicken Gravy?
This Chicken Gravy makes for an excellent roast dinner. My family loves pouring it over:
- The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes
- Sausages Wrapped in Bacon
- Roast Turkey
- Nut Roast
- Sage and Onion Stuffing
- Honey-Roasted Parsnips
- Braised Red Cabbage
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Cauliflower Mash
Thinking of making this recipe? Please drop me a note in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I ALWAYS LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
The Best Chicken Gravy
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- 3 ⅓ lbs (1.5 kg) chicken leg quarters, slice into the skin and meat with a sharp knife
- 4 shallots, quartered
- 2 large carrots, scrubed and cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs, washed and cut into chunks
- 10 sprigs fresh herbs, I'm using 6 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, and 2 sprigs sage
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour, I use wholewheat pastry flour, but all-purpose is fine
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste (purée)
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) port
- 4½ cups (1 L) chicken stock, I'm using my homemade chicken stock but use your favorite recipe or store-bought variety
- 4½ cups (1 L) boiling water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4, and prepare your ingredients.
- Roast: Place the chicken, shallots, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs into a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and give everything a good toss. Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour, turning once halfway through. Once cooked, the contents of the pan should be a deep golden brown color and you should have plenty of chicken drippings.
- Roux: Put a large pot or stockpot on medium heat. Add the butter and flour and cook it off the raw flour taste for 1-2 minutes. The butter will melt, and the flour mixture will turn light brown and add extra flavor to the gravy. Add the tomato paste (purée) and Port and stir to combine. Then, pour in the chicken stock and water, a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Now, add the honey. Carefully add the roasted chicken, veggies, and aromatics to the pot of liquid. Making sure to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. This is good stuff, don't waste it! Bring to a boil.
- Simmer: Now, reduce heat to low and simmer on low for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, with the lid slightly ajar. The gravy will deepen in color and reduce by about a third. This is where we get a depth of flavor that turns good gravy into the best chicken gravy! Tip: The lid will prevent too much of the liquid from evaporating.
- Strain: Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl (preferably with a spout). Use the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much gravy from the solids as possible.
- Serve and Enjoy! Now for the best part! Pour into a gravy boat, drench your dinner, and enjoy!
- Refrigerator Storage – Once the chicken gravy has simmered, pour it into an airtight container or freezer bag before it firms up and turns jelly-like. Once cooled completely, transfer the gravy into the refrigerator and use it within 3-4 days.
- Freezer Storage – If you’ve made the gravy further in advance, store it in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze it for 2-3 months (for best quality). Leave room in the container for liquid expansion, or your containers may break.
- Defrosting – Thaw the gravy in the fridge overnight.
- Reheating – Transfer the gravy to a saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil, then simmer on low heat until you’re ready to serve. Stir occasionally. Only reheat your gravy once.
- Reheating and adding drippings – Add chicken or turkey drippings to your gravy after scooping off the fat for extra meaty oomph. If you have one, you can use a fat separator.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.