24-Hour Gravy

24-Hour Gravy

This gravy isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the true flavor seeker: the home chef for whom humble pan drippings are simply not enough. The key to making this recipe is to think of each step as a building block on the way to intense aroma and taste. So don’t be afraid to brown the vegetables a little more than you usually would, or to add a bit more wine to the mix.

We start by roasting chicken wings at a super high heat—the cartilage and skin will aid in giving the resulting broth unctuous body. The wings are then simmered with a long-cooked melange of bacon, tomato, garlic, and other aromatic yummies, which is doubly fortified with dried mushrooms.

Once strained, the broth is thickened with a toasty roux that’s similar to the butter-flour combo used in traditional gumbo; in addition to thickening the gravy, this roux adds a nutty backbone.

The resulting gravy would be good to go, if not for our ultimate finishing move: We whisk in sherry vinegar for a smoky tang, soy sauce for an umami punch, a touch of hot sauce for unexpected heat, and butter to smooth out the consistency. That’s about it. Sort of (wink, wink). Dig in deep this year and astonish your friends and family with our pull-out-all-the-stops gravy.

“With all the strong umami-forward ingredients and flavor-building techniques, I was actually worried that the gravy might be too intense. It is definitely rich, but very flavorful and balanced. It would pair well with duck, turkey or beef.” —Young Sun Huh

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Bones:

  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed poultry parts and bones (necks, backs, wings), cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 cup red wine, broth, or water

For the Pinçage:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 strips bacon, chopped

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 1 carrot, sliced

  • 1 rib celery, sliced

  • 1 head garlic, cut in half width-wise

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 bottle red wine

For the Broth:

  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 5 sprigs fresh sage

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 ounces dried mushroom pieces, such as porcini and shiitake

For the Gumbo Roux:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, more as needed

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, more as needed

To Finish:

  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, or to taste

  • 2 dashes Frank's RedHot Sauce, or to taste

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Bones

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    bones prep ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 450 F. Toss the bones with the oil and add to the hot sheet pan in a single layer. Roast until well browned, about 30 to 40 minutes.

    baked bones on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Remove from the oven and transfer the bones to a stockpot.

    baked bones in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. While the sheet pan is still hot, add the wine (or broth or water) and scrape up any browned bits. Pour the yummy goodness into the stockpot with the bones and set aside.

    bones in a pot with wine

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Pincage

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pincage ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until rendered, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf, and cook stirring occasionally until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Pincage ingredients in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until deeply caramelized.

    tomato paste added to the vegetable mixture in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Raise the heat to high, pour in the bottle of red wine, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. The vegetable mixture should be dark brown and jammy; transfer to the stockpot of bones.

    Pincage in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Broth

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    broth ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Tie the parsley, thyme, sage, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine. Add to the pot of bones along with the dried mushrooms. Pour enough cold water into the pot to cover by 3 to 4 inches.

    broth ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Simmer, skimming the foam from the top, for 8 hours.

    broth cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. 

    broth in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    gravy ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. The next day, make the gumbo roux: Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the flour.

    roux in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Cook, stirring constantly until the roux is the color of peanut butter, about 15 minutes. It should be the consistency of wet sand—add more flour or butter to adjust, if necessary. Set aside.

    roux in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Remove the stock from the refrigerator, peel off and discard the congealed fat from the top. Transfer the stock to a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of stock. If you have less, then add more water. If you have more, then simmer the stock longer to reduce the liquid.

    broth in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. To finish the gravy: Using an immersion blender, add spoonfuls of the gumbo roux (you may need more or less to achieve your desired consistency)  to the stock and blend until smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened; simmer about 5 minutes.

    gravy cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Add the butter, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, and hot sauce and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

    24-Hour Gravy in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


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