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Old 08-20-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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I need help with my white gravy

I made chicken fried steak with white gravy for dinner tonight. It is my second time making this dish. The first time I made it the gravy was a disaster. Tonight it came much better, but the flavor was still very flat. Here is what I did.

I fried the steak until done then poured off the oil, leaving a little bit behind. I sprinkled in some four that I had used to dredge the steak. The flour was seasoned with salt and pepper. I whisked that in to make a roux. Next I added about a cup of chicken stock and a bunch of milk (not sure how much milk, but it was more than the chicken stock). This was seasoned again with salt and pepper.

It came out OK and my wife loved it, but I really felt it was lacking flavor. What can I do next time to make it better?

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Old 08-20-2006, 06:43 PM   #2
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I have the same problem, although mine usually ends up way too thick and glue like as well.

My BEST white gravy has always been by making a simple white sauce first and then adding my flavor, instead of making the white sauce out of the flavor.

Does that make sense?

Gravy is one think I can NOT make well.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
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Two words.....


Season All

This is the key to adding flavor to gravy... I usually skip the salt and pepper and just use Season All, other wise like you stated GB, it is pretty bland.

Since it has red pepper in it, it will color up the gravy a bit, but nothing noticeable enough to bring scrutiny to it.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
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GB, in the south, we use TONS of cracked pepper. That is what spices up our gravy for chicken fried steak, sausage gravy etc.


I usually make a white 'sauce' too, with the oil from the frying pan.

I use the basic sauce recipe but I double it since we love gravy.

2 T grease from frying the 'steak' or butter
2 T flour
1 cup milk
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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The first time mine came out way too thick too Angie. This time I used less flour and more liquid and the consistency was much better. Not perfect, but better.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #6
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Try a dry roux!
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
Try a dry roux!
roflmao.....I thought of that too. My aunt makes it with a dry roux, seriously.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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sattie, what is Season All? I have never heard of it.

Jan I used a lot of cracked black pepper, but probably not nearly enough. I still think even with a lot more pepper it would be lacking dimension. I will certainly use much more next time though.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:58 PM   #9
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FryBoy, actually I thought about doing that after reading your post. I am not sure what made me decide not to do that, but I bet that would have helped!
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:03 PM   #10
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Well, as I think it was you who pointed out in a post on another subject -- rice, I think -- you're working with a lot of bland ingredients, so you can't expect too much.

Oh, next time try deglazing the pan with a shot or two of dry sherry! YUMMY!
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:16 PM   #11
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Sherry is a great idea, thanks!

I have had other white gravies that had much more flavor than mine so I know it is possible. I am not generally a fan of chain restaurants, but when I do find myself at a Chili's I almost always get their chicken friend steak. Their gravy is really very flavorful. That is the sort of thing I am shooting for. Of course being a Northern boy, that is the only chicken friend steak I have ever had other than what I have made myself.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:33 PM   #12
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I like my white gravy made with sausage drippings, and perhaps some crumbled sausage, always some poultry seasoning (Bells is best), and cayenne. I used to make if for my kids, they loved it with lots of plain old yellow mustard in it and lots and lots of black pepper in either version.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:38 PM   #13
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I suspect that Chili's puts some stuff in their gravy that you wouldn't use on a bet. Most likely it has MSG and some sort of concentrated chicken flavor , plus a ton of salt.

There's a good brand of liquid (more of a gel) chicken and beef concentrate available - like bullion cubes but better. Can't remember the brand. Comes in a very small jar, may be from Canada. It might beef up the flavor, so to speak.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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I am no expert on this dish, but I love chicken friend steak. This is a recipe from Alton Brown. He's pretty good with ratio's.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._34019,00.html
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:46 PM   #15
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I actually think MSG is a great tool in cooking and has gotten a bad rap because of misguided media. I forgot to mention that I actually did put a dash of that in the sauce.

Are you thinking of chicken base? I used that to make my stock that I added, but I bet another bit added to the sauce itself would have helped too. Not sure why I did not think of that in the first place.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:46 PM   #16
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I like the mustard idea -- a teaspoon of Dijon could work wonders. Or a hit or two of Worcestershire Sauce.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:51 PM   #17
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I haven't used MSG for years, but I recall it giving an odd taste to some dishes -- maybe too amplified. I once tried it on popcorn -- yuck!

Can't recall the name, but yeah, it's chicken base, I guess.

Alton Brown's use of Thyme seems like a good idea, too, or perhaps marjoram.
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:40 PM   #18
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The way we do it is:
About equal parts of your pan drippings and flour....if not enough pan drippings to make the amount of gravy we want..we add some butter. Then use part milk and part evaporated milk....lots of black pepper....and we always add just a "little bit" of sugar to bring the flavors out.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
sattie, what is Season All? I have never heard of it.

Jan I used a lot of cracked black pepper, but probably not nearly enough. I still think even with a lot more pepper it would be lacking dimension. I will certainly use much more next time though.
It is made by McCormick, Season All Seasoned Salt. The only reason why I get it is for gravy.... honest. It has salt, spices, (chili pepper, black pepper, celery seed, nutmeg, and cariander just to name a few. It goes really good with like french fries and baked potato wedges, but I rarely cook it.

Mastering gravy has taken me several years and I really can't say that I have mastered it, but I can whip it up pretty consistently now. As others have stated, using the oil from the meat cooked is a good start, but I have found that it is never enough. Using stock is something that I have never thought of and I am glad you posted it. Also, lots of cracked pepper is good, but you can get carried away with it. If I want a bit of spice in my gravy, I go with red pepper flakes. All in all, I have found that Season All has given my gravy that little oomph that it needed. I just sprinkle some on, a bit heavy handed right before serving and it is good to go.

HTH,
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:13 PM   #20
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More grease, more browning the flour and grease to a very very light brown. LOTS of pepper as the other southerner said. cook the roux. Add the milk. If it is too thick add more milk/liquid--easy enough. I really suspect you are trying to cut down on the grease/fat portion if your gravy isn't flavorful. And cook the flour and fat together more.
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