I have been collecting a few commercial turkey gravies to sample and review. I am including 3 different gravies along with some opinions.
- Imagine Natural Creations Roasted Turkey Flavored Gravy
- Mayacamas Turkey Flavored Gravy Mix
- Allergy Free Foods Chicken · Turkey Gravy Mix
First Up, Imagine Natural Creations Roasted Turkey Flavored Gravy. I found this gravy at my local Sunflower Market. Of the three gravies, we all thought this one had the best flavor and color. The downside though is that it is very thin and runny. My friend Kristen said it best, “if you like your side dishes to be infused with the gravy, then it is good.” For example, when you ladle the gravy on dressing, it “disappears” into the dressing (absorbs into the dressing). Not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what you like. I just like my gravy to sit on top of the dressing.
Second, Mayacamas Turkey Gravy Mix. I found this mix at my local Keller’s Farm Market. Of the three gravies, this was definitely the saltiest. The smell almost reminds me of the seasoning packet in beef flavored Ramen Noodles (hmmm…might be a future recipe experiment for GF Ramen Noodles!). I was tickled by the difference in the color of the gravy that I made versus the color of the gravy on the front of the packet. I actually do regularly use the Mayacamas Beef Gravy packets for things like Salisbury Steak and we really like it but the Turkey Gravy just doesn’t taste or look like turkey gravy to me.
Third, AllergyFree Foods Chicken · Turkey Gravy Mix. I do not want to be negative but I have to say that this gravy leaves much to be desired. That being said, I LOVE AllergyFree Foods Chicken Nuggets (They are what I use in my McDonald’s Happy Meals…they are simply the best GF kid-style Chicken Nuggets that I have found, they totally remind me of Mickey D’s nuggets, but without all of the bad stuff!). They are marketed under the Stuffin Gourmet name on QVC. I also use their Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch. In fact, it is the only Tapioca Starch I use. The gravy though, (and I triple checked the directions to make sure that I followed them correctly) was the exact replica of what can go SOOOO wrong when adding a starch directly to a hot liquid. B.O.O.G.E.R. B.A.L.L.S. Not a pleasant phrase but descriptive! 😉
When making a gravy with any starch like corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot, etc., you MUST make a slurry first or you will get little balls of “seized up” starch that will not go away, no matter how much you stir it.
A little Alton Brown on the subject of gravy (if you have time, watch it in its entirety, it’s about 10 minutes long but extremely helpful!). Even though he ultimately uses wheat flour, he talks with a food scientist about using different starches, even Arrowroot. Alton also does a demonstration on (what I call a Booger Ball) really is…apparently this will happen with wheat flour too if not prepared correctly!
All-in-all, if you do not like to make your own gravy there are GF options out there. I think even Trader Joe’s has a GF turkey gravy but I have not tried it yet. I am just a Schmidt girl at heart though, and I am partial to the gravy I grew up on. I remember my dad removing the turkey from the roasting pan and laying it across 2 stove top burners, cranking up the heat and adding flour straight into the (non-separated) turkey drippings. After making the roux, he would add water until it came to his desired consistency and then salt to taste. Very simple. I always got to be my dad’s gravy assistant and I took it very seriously! 🙂 To this day, it is one of my fondest childhood memories with my dad.
I still make gravy this way, only I use Tom Sawyer’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a cup for cup GF replacement for wheat based all purpose flour. I use it to make gravy and pizza crusts (when I need a large pizza for a crowd and Udi’s crusts only come in small). I also use it in almost all of my quick breads and cookies too. I thought I would make a quick note about having Tom Sawyer’s logo and link in my sidebar. I am not a paid representative of Tom Sawyer’s GF Flour nor do I get free flour to promote their product. I doubt they even know I exist out here on the web. I have their logo and link on my blog because I truly believe this is a GREAT GF all purpose flour, especially if you are new to the diet and do not want to invest in a lot of different flours and xanthan gum. The only thing that I didn’t care for was the sandwich bread I made once, but that could have either been the recipe or operator error! Now that I have Udi’s, I do not even mess with making bread anymore! Nowadays I do keep just about every GF flour out there in stock but that is because I like to experiment. I even have Sweet Potato Starch!
Anyway, I remember the first time I made gravy with Tom Sawyer’s back in 2006. I cried like a baby because I reclaimed something from my past that I thought was gone to me forever. It really does work just like wheat flour in gravy. I dump it straight into the hot drippings with zero booger balls and pure Thanksgiving gluten free bliss! Every glutenator that has ever sampled my gravy CANNOT tell it is gluten-free.