Chicken wing gravy

Chicken wing gravy

I could write a whole book about this gravy. Don’t get me wrong – if I’m making a roast at home, more often than not I’ll just reach for the Bisto. But once in a while, it’s worth taking the time and effort to make a proper gravy. It might seem like a whole load of hassle, but it really isn’t. This is one to make on a rainy Sunday afternoon when you’ve got nothing better to be doing.

If you’re cooking a roast, all the pressure is off once you’ve got a good gravy already made. You can make a hash of most of the dinner, but if you’re slathering the whole lot in a gorgeous, glossy, flavour-packed gravy, nothing else matters.

This one freezes really well, so you can always have a batch of it to hand. If I’m roasting a chicken, I’ll often just make this gravy at the same time – the oven is already on, so whacking a tray of wings in at the same time is no bother.

1.2kg chicken wings, bashed up or chopped
1 large onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 5cm pieces
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 large bay leaf
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
100g plain flour
50g butter, diced
2 litres chicken stock (stock cubes or jelly pots are fine)
50ml white wine vinegar
4 sprigs of fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Arrange the chicken wings, onion, carrots, rosemary and bay leaf on a large baking tray (definitely not a deep-sided roasting tin). Drizzle the whole lot with the oil and season well with the salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands to make sure all the wings are covered in oil. That way, they’ll go nice and crisp and you’ll get the maximum amount of flavour in your gravy.

When everything is coated, spread it out in the tray so it’s in an even layer. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, until the wings are golden. If a few are a little burnt looking, that’s no harm. Transfer the chicken wings and veg into a large pot.

Add the flour and butter to the hot tray and give it a good old stir until both are well combined and have formed a paste. This is now a basic roux. Steal a cup of the chicken stock to deglaze the tray, then put the whole tray over a low heat on the hob. Gently cook the lot for 4–5 minutes, constantly stirring and scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the tray.

Add the white wine vinegar. After 5 minutes, carefully pour all this liquid into the pot with the wings and veg and add the rest of the chicken stock. Give it all a really good stir.

Cook over a low heat for 30–40 minutes. You don’t want to let this go to a heavy boil, just a low simmer. Every 10 minutes or so, get a potato masher and give it all a big bash to agitate the flavours from the chicken and the veg. After 30 minutes, give it a taste. You might need to adjust the seasoning, so add a pinch of salt if you do. Add the thyme right at the end.

Once you’re happy with the flavour, allow it to sit off the heat for 10 minutes. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve, aggressively squishing out all the chicken wings and veg to get the last of their little flavour bombs out and into the gravy. Try to resist the urge to drink this from a mug, and either pop it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer or serve with a roast immediately.

From AND FOR MAINS by Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins

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