Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy is the perfect accompaniment to any roast meat.
When it comes to roast dinners, I think the gravy can make or break the meal. And as someone who needs lashings and lashings of hot gravy with her roast potatoes, I take no chances in this department and always try to make my gravy ahead of time.
I am definitely not one of those people who can make a quick gravy from the pan juices right before serving; more often than not, the jus is too strong in flavour and there is simply not enough to go around.
In the lead up to Christmas, a good friend of mine (and who happens to be a fabulous cook) was telling me about her faithfulness to Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy which uses chicken wings as the main ingredient, and I was instantly intrigued.
The idea is to start making the gravy the day before so that you have an ample supply of gravy for everyone at the table, and which can be enriched with the pan juices from whatever you happen to be roasting on the day of the big meal.
I’m guessing that Jamie Oliver had roast turkey in mind when he devised this recipe, but I can confirm that it also works beautifully with roast chicken and roast beef.
Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy does take some time to make, but it is not labour-intensive; you simply roast some vegetables and chicken wings in the oven for about an hour, before transferring the roasting tray to the stove and let everything simmer until it has reduced and thickened nicely into a gravy or thickened stock.
Now that I have tried this recipe a few times, this will definitely form part of my Christmas repertoire each year!
You can watch Jamie Oliver make his Get Ahead Gravy in the video below, and my recipe which follows has a few tweaks here and there with my own cooking notes. Enjoy!
Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6-8
- 2 large brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 4 rashers of streaky bacon, sliced thickly
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh sage
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 10-12 chicken wings
- olive oil
- 60ml (1/4 cup) dry sherry or white wine
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons Cranberry Sauce (optional)
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- chives, finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Place the onions, carrots, celery, bacon, bay leaves, sage, and rosemary into a large, high-sided roasting dish.
- Using a very sharp knife, break the chicken wings so that the bones are cracked in places, but the wings are still intact.
- Place the chicken wings on top of the other ingredients in the roasting dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Roast for 1 hour or until the chicken wings are golden and nicely browned. The more colour the chicken wings have, the more colour and flavour your gravy will have.
- Remove the roasting dish from the oven and place it on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add the sherry or white wine, and let it bubble away for a few minutes until most of it has evaporated.
- Stir in the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add enough boiling water to just cover the ingredients (about 1.5-2 litres or 6-8 cups).
- Simmer over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, or until the gravy starts to thicken to your liking. During this time, use a potato masher to squash and mash everything together, and to extract as much flavour as you can from the ingredients. Towards the end of the cooking time, all of the vegetables will have broken down and the chicken wings will have also fallen apart.
- When the gravy is cooked to your liking, strain everything through a coarse sieve into a large bowl or jug, extracting as much liquid as you can from the ingredients by pressing down with a wooden spoon.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Let the gravy cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.
- To serve, bring the gravy to a simmer in a large saucepan. If it is too thick, thin it with some boiling water.
- Once you have roasted your meat (turkey, chicken or beef), skim off and discard any excess fat from the pan juices. Pour the pan juices into the gravy, and taste again for seasoning. If you like, you can add some Cranberry Sauce to give the gravy a touch of sweetness.
- I like to add fresh herbs to my gravy, such as parsley and or chives, to add some colour and freshness just before serving.
If the gravy is too thin for your liking, I would suggest thickening it with a cornflour slurry. Simply mix a few tablespoons of cornflour with some cold water in a small bowl. With the saucepan of gravy on medium-high heat, quickly stir in some of the cornflour slurry until you have the consistency you like. You may not need all of the cornflour slurry.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Calories: 230