Help with gravy, gravy not thickening

I hope someone can help with my made-ahead gravy for Thanksgiving. I made a roux, added heated broth slowly, then the remainder and simmered/whisking over medium heat for 20 minutes, but it wouldn't thicken. I continued whisking occasionally at a good simmer (not boiling) for close to an hour with no thickening.
I thought perhaps I hadn't added enough roux for the amount of gravy, so I made more roux, incorporated, but still no thickening. Now the gravy is beginning to lose the wonderful flavor it had and the liquid has been reduced by 1/2. I'm not sure I'll have enough now for Thanksgiving, and certainly don't want to add additional liquid.
Can anyone help? I've never not had my gravy thicken after adding flour. Perplexed.

  • Posted by: Dee
  • November 22, 2016
  • 9431 views
  • 16 Comments

16 Comments

Smaug November 23, 2016
I'd lean toward start over, but I thought I'd mention a flour product called "Wondra" (I think) that can be sprinkled directly into the gravy on the stove- a friend who is an excellent cook swears by it.
 
Dee November 23, 2016
I had read about that as well - perhaps another trip to the store is in order! :)
 
Leith D. November 23, 2016
I always make a flour/butter paste (beurre manié) before I make gravy, and if it's too thin, add it a lump at a time until the gravy thickens. Make sure to cook the gravy after adding the flour to get rid of the raw four taste.
 
Dee November 23, 2016
Thanks for the tip Leith!
 
Mark B. November 23, 2016
Don't worry about adding more liquid - you've got pure flavor there now. I agree that the easiest fix is cornstarch - a tablespoon or 2 at a time, mixed with an equal amount of water. It'll work. You'll be happy.
 
Dee November 23, 2016
I'm on the fence between using tapioca starch flour or cornstarch. Are they interchangeable, do you know?
 
Derrick November 23, 2016
Take a tablespoon of flour and some water to it, just a little at a time (stirring as you do so to avoid lumps). While stirring your roux slowly pour the flour mixture in. Hope this helps.
 
PHIL November 23, 2016
Derrick's suggestion has worked for me. If you have to , buy a store bought jar and mix it in with your homemade gravy, no one will know but you and me.
 
Dee November 23, 2016
Thanks Derrick!
 
BakerRB November 23, 2016
I'd try tapioca starch, or a pureed cooked potato or carrot. They'll thicken without needing to cook in for much time. Flour loses its thickening ability after boiling too long. (I don't remember how long it takes.) It just takes a minute or two at a hard simmer/boil to thicken. The longer time is reducing the broth, but probably reduced the starch's effectiveness.
 
Dee November 23, 2016
Thanks BakerRB - perhaps I'll try the tapioca on the side and add to the mix if successful. A friend had also suggested that.
 
feastathome November 22, 2016
What is the ratio of roux to broth? Did you add the second roux directly to the ongoing gravy?
 
Dee November 22, 2016
Thanks feastathome for your reply...
I had 2 quarts of gravy made from roasted turkey and veggies that were simmered in broth. After solids were removed and gravy was cooled, I skimmed off the fat into a saucepan and added 1 C. flour to make a roux. When that didn't thicken the gravy. I repeated the above.
 
Dee November 22, 2016
I now have about 1 qt. of gravy, after trying to reduce as a way to thicken, which also didn't work. Scratching my head as to why this gravy won't thicken! Should I add rice flour? I read where that would thicken gravies quickly. I'm also concerned I need to make more gravy at this point as 1 qt. may not be enough for 14 guests.
 
feastathome November 22, 2016
My go to fix is cornstarch - a bit at a time and whisk the heck out of it. I'm perplexed too.
 
feastathome November 22, 2016
You may also try a cold roux with same ratio of butter and either flour or cornstarch, mixed thoroughly. If you do have more stock, reduce some separately, and add afterwards.
 
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