We’re home cooks of few words when it comes to gravy. No Especially when we have had vats of this gravy on the stove as often as they do—no time for talking when you’re shoveling mashed potatoes and fried chicken doused with gravy in your piehole. In case you’re tempted to cheat and rush the recipe, we have one word for you: don’t. Browning the chicken wings and bones ensures that the resulting gravy has a rich flavor, worthy of the finest mound of mash. This is terrific on fried chicken and even better on mashed potatoes.–Bruce and Eric Bromberg, Melissa Clark

Chicken gravy being poured out of a white gravy boat.

Chicken Gravy

5 from 1 vote
This chicken gravy recipe is a great one to have in your arsenal. It's simple enough for even novice cooks yet tasty enough for the most demanding chefs. Roasting the bones before making the stock is a crucial step so don't skip it!
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories38 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time2 hours


  • About 2 pounds chicken bones and wings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC).
  • Spread the chicken bones and wings on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast until well browned, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the butter with the flour to make a paste.
  • Transfer the chicken bones and wings, along with any browned bits from the baking sheet, to a large skillet.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Make sure to not miss any of those darkened morsels stuck on the baking sheet as you're scraping everything into the stock pot. More color means more flavor.

  • Pour the stock into the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it gently boil and burble for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture, discarding the bones and wings. Return the liquid to the skillet over medium-high heat and add the thyme. Slowly whisk in the butter paste, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is thick and gravy-like. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. You can cover the gravy and keep it warm over very low heat or even off the heat until needed.

Adapted From

Blue Ribbon Cookbook

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 38 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 2 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 6 mgSodium: 159 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Bruce and Eric Bromberg. Photo © 2010 Africa Studio. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I used a package of party wings and a package of chicken backs equaling 3 1/2 pounds. The one hour time was perfect to roast the chicken parts to nicely browned. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly and ended up with 2 cups of stock. With one change, you could really knock this out of the park. I had roasted David’s Best Brined Chicken so I stirred in all the pan drippings and this changed the gravy.

Roasting the chicken this way, pulling it off a pan and putting it into another pan, leaves behind all the brown bits. Why not brown the chicken pieces in a Dutch oven for an hour, then pull it out and add the stock right in, using it to deglaze all the brown bits? I’ll do this next time as I think the rest of the recipe is solid.

I wouldn’t change anything about this recipe. I found it easy to follow and it produced a beautiful chicken gravy. This recipe was easy to follow and delicious! I will definitely be adding this to my recipe book.

My “paste” didn’t really work out into a paste so I ended up whisking my sort-of paste into the broth and it still turned out perfect. No lumps.

I ended up with exactly 2 cups of gravy which I thought is perfect for a roast chicken serving 4 people. I only put the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in as I only ended up with 2 cups and it was seasoned perfectly.

Living in Canada we just celebrated our Thanksgiving so I served this alongside my turkey gravy. There didn’t end up being any leftovers, everyone loved it!

I broke down a chicken and 3 split leg quarters to get the bones needed for this recipe. My bones weighed 2 1/2 pounds. It took me 1 hour 20 minutes to roast the bones and they still could’ve gone a little longer. After adding the stock to the bones, I simmered for the required 30 minutes. I added all of the paste in small bits and it took 4 minutes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. When I make a chicken pot pie from a rotisserie chicken I use the bones and skin to make the gravy. I put them and whatever juices have collected in the bottom of the package/clamshell into a heavy pot and render what juices I can over high heat on the stovetop. Then, once I’ve lifted out any solids, I proceed in just about the same manner.

    Meanwhile, I’m steaming some roughly chopped fresh veggies. That provides a tasty liquid for the gravy if I don’t have chicken broth at any particular time. I throw some frozen peas and chopped herbs in with the meat, veggies and gravy at the last minute.

    The whole thing’s assembled and in the oven in about 30 minutes and beats the pants off anything in a freezer case.