This is an important skill for Thanksgiving. And I make fantastic gravy. People, use butter. And remember, put the flour in the butter, not in the stock. You’ll have lumpy gravy if you put the flour in the stock. Also, use your turkey drippings if you can, supplementing with chicken stock. Don’t use chicken broth. You need to use stock.
If the flour gets in the water based stock before the butter has coated it, you’re going to have a terrible mess. So be sure to give it a few minutes in the butter, browning it. Essentially, you’re making a roux here, just don’t get the flour too brown.
Here’s the recipe I use, based on the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe, but altered for my family’s personal tastes, e.g. no cognac in it.
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium sized sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 c flour
1 ts kosher salt
1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
Defatted turkey drippings plus chicken stock to make 2 cups; heated (or jarred stock if needed). Be sure it is steaming hot.
1 tb heavy cream
1. In a large (10 to 12-inch) pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions brown and are reduced in volume. Take your time. You can do this the day before, put the mixture in a container, refrigerate it, then heat it up on medium heat Thanksgiving morning until it is sizzling before proceeding to the second step.
2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk well, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the hot chicken stock mixture, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Stir in cream. Season, to taste, and serve.
I made a double batch of this the other day. I used one large yellow onion, but everything else doubled. It took 30 minutes on medium low to get the onion reduced and browned. In the last five minutes I turned the heat up to medium and kept going. It was delicious.