Easy Chicken Gravy (With OR Without Drippings)

Put your leftover chicken drippings to use in this surprisingly simple Chicken Gravy recipe! It’s easy to make with either roasted chicken drippings or chicken broth as the base and is loaded with deeply rich and savory flavors. Enjoy it as the ultimate compliment to your weeknight dinner or make it a part of your Thanksgiving menu.

If there’s one thing you can do to extend the life of your roasted chicken or spatchcock chicken dinner, it’s to save the leftover chicken drippings. Those drippings are like liquid gold, capturing the chicken’s slow roasted layers of flavor in liquid form.

And the best way to use them is in this homemade Chicken Gravy recipe!

If you’ve never made chicken gravy from drippings, the process is easier than you think. The leftover drippings are simmered with dry white wine and a handful of pantry staples for a few minutes, then voila! You have the ultimate addition to your Thanksgiving menu or extravagant dinner.

Not to worry if you don’t have roasted chicken drippings on hand. I’ve included the option to make chicken gravy without drippings in the simple step-by-step instructions below. The gravy is still restaurant-quality and goes well with everything.

PS – Be sure to check out this tasty beef gravy and onion gravy too!

Ingredients for chicken gravy labeled on counter.

Ingredients 

This is everything you need to make chicken gravy with drippings:

  • Drippings from roasted chicken – This recipe is the best excuse to indulge in my Easy Roasted Chicken. It’s incredibly juicy, and the skin is nice and crispy. Save the drippings in the roasting pan for this delicious chicken gravy!
  • Dry white wine – Dry sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio gives the gravy a balancing acidity that cuts through the rich and fatty chicken drippings. Dry vermouth works just as well here.
  • Chicken broth – Store-bought broth is fine but homemade chicken bone broth will elevate the flavors even more.
  • Soy sauce
  • Classic poultry seasonings – A blend of onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried sage adds depth to the gravy, as well as mouthwatering herbaceous flavors. Feel free to experiment with the flavors by adding even more herbs, like dried parsley, rosemary, and tarragon.
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cornstarch – This helps thicken the gravy.

Are you fresh out of chicken drippings? You can still make this gravy recipe without drippings by omitting them from the recipe. The chicken broth is used as the base instead.

How to make chicken gravy from drippings

First, add the drippings from a roasted chicken to a liquid measuring cup. Let it sit while the fat separates and rises to the top. Skim the solid bits of fat from the top and reserve the liquid drippings on the bottom. Or, you can use a fat separator like the one shown below. This makes things so easy!

Chicken drippings in small container.

Pour the drippings into a small saucepan along with the white wine/dry vermouth, and heat over medium-high heat. Wait for the mixture to reduce by about half.

Stir in the broth, soy sauce, herbs, and seasonings, and bring it to a simmer. 

Meanwhile, stir the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl or jar.

Now whisk the cornstarch slurry into the simmering gravy. Lower the heat and continue whisking until it thickens. 

Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Enjoy!

Tips and tricks

  • If you like homemade gravy to be perfectly smooth and creamy, you can strain the drippings through a fine mesh sieve to remove the larger brown bits and pieces of chicken.
  • If the gravy is too thick, simply add more broth.
  • If it turns out too thin, continue simmering until it reduces to your desired thickness.
  • Remember that drippings from roasted chicken are typically already salted. Always taste your gravy before adding salt or adjust the seasonings when it’s done simmering.

Variations 

  • Gluten free – To make gluten free chicken gravy, replace the soy sauce with gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos. 
  • Turkey gravy – Make this gravy with the pan drippings from roasted turkey instead of chicken. Or make it with turkey broth or stock if you don’t have the drippings on hand. 
  • Vegetarian gravy – If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, experiment with vegetable broth as a savory base for your gravy. You can also use mushroom broth for an earthier, more umami-forward flavor. 
Prepared gravy in small gravy boat.

Serving suggestions

This chicken gravy ties any meal together! It always enhances a simple baked chicken breast or a plate of mashed potatoes, but it’s especially important to serve the gravy with Thanksgiving dinner. Put it on the table alongside other traditional Thanksgiving foods, including roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, and stuffing.

You can also use the chicken gravy with:

  • Biscuits and Gravy
  • Chicken Fried Steak
  • Fried Chicken
  • Open-Faced Hot Turkey Sandwiches
  • Loaded French Fries or Homemade Poutine
Bowl of mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy.

FAQs

Why isn’t my gravy thickening?

This can happen if the gravy doesn’t simmer long enough after adding the cornstarch slurry. Just be patient! Continue simmering until the mixture has reduced and thickened. 

What can I use instead of drippings to make gravy?

If you don’t have chicken drippings on hand, use a rich and savory store-bought or homemade chicken broth instead.

What can I use instead of wine/vermouth?

A splash of apple juice, white grapefruit juice, balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar will give the chicken gravy depth and flavor without needing alcohol.

Storing and freezing

Transfer the leftover chicken gravy to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 

If you want to store the gravy for longer, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for 2 to 3 months.

Spoonful of chicken gravy next roasted chicken.

More chicken recipes

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Prepared gravy in small gravy boat.

Chicken Gravy

Put your leftover chicken drippings to use in this surprisingly simple Chicken Gravy recipe! It’s easy to make with either roasted chicken drippings or chicken broth as the base and is loaded with deeply rich and savory flavors. Enjoy it as the ultimate compliment to your weeknight dinner or make it a part of your Thanksgiving menu.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If using drippings (optional): Pour the drippings from a roasted chicken into a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a spoon to skim the fat from the top, reserving the drippings on the bottom.
  • Add the drippings to a small saucepan and add the white wine or dry vermouth. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reduces by about half. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, and seasonings and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, to a small mason jar or tupperware container, add the water and cornstarch and shake well to combine.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering gravy mixture. Whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue whisking, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Remove from heat and enjoy.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Saucepan

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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