Alex Guarnaschelli Has A Secret Technique For Thickening Gravy

If you love gravy on your garlic mashed potatoes and turkey but want to opt for a lighter version of this sauce, the turkey drippings, the flour, and cornstarch, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has just the ingredient your gravy needs. When it comes to a Thanksgiving Day meal or any meal that might feature a little something to drizzle over your meat and sides, the gravy is never the star of the show, but the oh-so-needed supporting cast member that brings it all together.

Per Serious Eats, gravy is generally made with a stock like chicken or beef and some thickener. However, problems can arise when adding too much flour, causing the gravy to thicken too much. Sometimes you may even encounter dreaded lumps when making your gravy — a total taste bud killer. Guarnaschelli's secret or not-so-secret ingredient can help eliminate these obstacles, allowing your gravy to be smooth and just the right consistency. What we love most about this little trick that the co-host of "The Kitchen" shared with her followers on Instagram is how it sneaks a particular food group onto your plate. In fact, once you know Guarnaschelli's technique, we know you'll want to try it too.

Vegetable puree

Per Guarnaschelli's Instagram account, the celebrity chef suggests using a vegetable puree instead of making a classic roux for your gravy. That's right. Chef Guarnaschelli takes two simple ingredients — garlic and onions — and roasts them until both are soft and tender. She then places them in the blender and purees them with chicken stock, sherry, mustard, vinegar, and seasoning to create a lighter version of the sauce. It's a great, albeit stealthy, way to get your family to eat their vegetables. According to Food Network, Guarnaschelli sometimes purees roasted carrots and celery before adding the mixture to her gravy.

Fine Cooking explains that vegetable purees are very similar to the butter and cream you might add to create a sauce. But they also caution readers not to be turned off because they are healthy alternatives to the usual fats. Vegetable purees can be equally as delicious and flavorful. In addition to the vegetables Guarnaschelli uses in her vegetable puree, the cooking site suggests creating a parsley puree, a sweet bell pepper, or spicy chili to add to the sauce.