Good Gravy

Growing up in a meat and potatoes family, gravy was served at our table at least once a week.  The real stuff (the good stuff!), seasoned with pan drippings.  My mom probably never even knew that gravy existed in a can, and if she did she was kind enough to keep her disgust to herself.  Why buy it when you can make it better?

While the thought of making gravy to go with my fried chicken or chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes used to be no less than intimidating, I’ve learned with some practice that it’s just the thought that intimidates. The process is actually pretty smooth!

Cream Gravy for Fried Chicken or Chicken Fried Steak

  • pan drippings
  • oil
  • beef or chicken bouillon
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • potato water
  • milk

There’s a reason I didn’t provide measurements.  Gravy making is a no-measure process for me.  I’ll do my best to give you some approximates as we go.

1.  Remove cooked meat from the skillet (chicken fried steak pictured) and save the drippings.  Do not scrape anything out of the pan!

2.  Make sure there are at least 2 Tbsp. of oil still in the pan.  If not, add a bit.  If you have more than 1/4 cup of oil in the pan, remove some… but leave the drippings!

3.  Stir in about 2 tsp. bouillon into the drippings (for flavor).

4.  Add flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until you get this consistency.  Not thick and clumpy, but not runny.  Cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
5. If you remembered to save some potato water, add about 1/2 cup, stirring constantly.  The gadget you see me stirring with is a nylon gravy whisk.  Nice, but not necessary.  A regular whisk will work fine.  No potato water?  No problem… just start adding milk slowly, stirring constantly.

6. Continue to add milk slowly, stirring constantly, until the gravy reaches desired consistency.  Desired consistency?  Hmmm… I watch the bubbles.  They look something like this.  Also, if I’m stirring quickly I like it to be thick enough that I can see the bottom of the skillet briefly as I stir.
7.  If you start to panic and you’re not sure if it’s too thick or too thin, turn the heat off.  It will thicken as it cools. If it gets too thick, add a little milk. Too thin? Mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and a little water in a cup. Dump it in the gravy and ramp up the heat to bubbling again. Cook for another couple of minutes.

8.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meat and potatoes comfort food, complete with homemade cream gravy… one of the Finer Things in Life.  Speaking of the Finer Things, please come back later this week to celebrate Finer Things Friday!

Check out Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesday for your weekly recipe and kitchen tip fix.  Visit Blissfully Domestic, too, for all sorts of homemaking inspiration!

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  1. I luuuuvvvv cream gravy! This is how I often make mine as well! And if you want sawmill gravy, add a little pepper and some cooked, crumbled sausage! Great on biscuits!! Yum!!

  2. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.

  3. I love gravy on fried chicken!

  4. Thanks for the written recipe. Variations on the standard gravy, or finding out how others make their gravy is helpful.

  5. You gave a great tute on how to make homestyle gravy. I had a hard time making it the first few times too till my dh’s grandmother told me to add the flour to oil THEN add the milk (I had been adding the milk then flour-OOPS!) 😉

  6. I love gravy and make it when I can but I never thought of using the potato water, thats a great idea!

  7. My, oh my! This sounds delish, Amy! 😀 I love homemade gravy.

  8. That was an interesting gravy making lesson. I have never made it, nor did my mom. I know that my husband loves biscuits and gravy at restaurants. I should surprise him with homemade.

  9. Potato water – GOTCHA! That would be good. Thanks!

  10. you make this seem so easy!

  11. I have never been able to make delicious gravy like my mom–now I think maybe I’ll try again! 🙂


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