The Liquor Ina Garten Adds To Take Her Gravy Up A Notch

Gravy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when dreaming of a Thanksgiving spread. While you probably think of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, the meal isn't truly complete without some delicious, rich gravy. In simplest terms, gravy is a sauce typically made from the drippings of cooked meat that is thickened with some flour of a roux (per Delighted Cooking). While it seems pretty straightforward, one major mistake that will ruin a gravy is not making a roux. Gravy should ideally be smooth and silky, with no signs of lumps or bumps. You should always serve your gravy warm, so it does not cool down your hot food. While all of these technicalities matter, gravy first and foremost has to taste delicious.

If you simply don't have time to make homemade gravy, store-bought gravy can work in a pinch. There are several store-bought brands to choose from, but McCormick gravy was voted fan favorite in a Mashed poll. For those who want to try making homemade gravy, some simple additions can really make it pop. Culinary queen Ina Garten knows a thing or two when it comes to the luscious sauce and Thanksgiving as a whole. She has an entire section published on Food Network of her Thanksgiving menu favorites. She recommends making homemade gravy which has a special boozy twist that will take it to another level.

For great gravy, look to your liquor cabinet and wine rack

Ina Garten shared with Buzzfeed her ultimate gravy trick to bump up the flavor. Garten adds about a tablespoon of cognac or brandy to her pan sauce to create her gravy. She adds the liquor to the pan drippings, which helps with scraping up all the brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Her Food Network recipe for gravy involves more than just cognac. Garten sautés onions in butter before adding flour to make a roux. Chicken stock, and cognac are added, as well as heavy cream. She finishes it off with another splash of alcohol, this time white wine. The gravy appears to be a big hit, as the recipe has amassed an average of 296 five-star reviews.

Celebrity chef and media mogul Martha Stewart also swears by adding alcohol to gravy. According to her website, Stewart adds white wine and bourbon to her gravy. The bourbon adds richness and depth of flavor to the gravy. If you're worried about serving the gravy to those who don't drink, don't be. The alcohol mostly burns off during the cooking process due to it evaporating when it reduces.