Ina Garten’s Cognac Gravy Recipe

11/22/2023 – Homemade Make-Ahead Gravy

Recipe by Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa from here. This is Mary’s traditional Thanksgiving recipe. There is another one that uses red onions. Mary always makes this one.

Makes: About 4 cups


  • ¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock, beef stock, or pan drippings, heated
  • 1 Tbsp. Cognac or brandy
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream (optional)


1. In a large (10- to 12-inch) sauté pan, cook the butter and onions on medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned not burnt. Don’t rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well cooked.

2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk it in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock or pan drippings (or half and half etc) and if using, Cognac or brandy, and cook, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the cream, if desired, and serve.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: You can store the gravy, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Heat it slowly before serving.

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