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I only started making gravy a year or two ago, so I don't fully understand the process, although I appreciate the taste. As I was making gravy for Thanksgiving, I noticed that the color was significantly yellow and it wasn't clear, but milky-opaque. I know from this question that the yellow color is from using the fat I skimmed off of my stock to make the roux. (I made a combined chicken and turkey stock.)

But what makes the gravy appear opaque and almost milky? The color came almost as soon as I mixed my stock into my roux.

(Incidentally, my stock wasn't hot when I added it to the roux. Would that make a difference?)

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Could you post the recipe/process you used for the stock and roux ? – Dr. belisarius Nov 25 '10 at 16:35
Gravy is opaque. If you want a clear gravy, use starch in your roux rather than flour. – Chris Cudmore Nov 25 '10 at 17:21
For the stock, I started with some turkey wings and chicken bones. I roasted them at 450 until they were light brown. Then (after skinning the turkey) I covered them in lots of water and cooked them at about 180 for a couple of hours. I roasted onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and parley root, and added them to the stock and cooked for another hour. I drained and chilled overnight, then skimmed the fat. – Martha F. Nov 25 '10 at 18:12
For the roux, I measured the fat I got from the stock, and added enough olive oil to make 1/4 cup. I cooked that over high heat for a minute or two to cook off the liquid that I'm sure I got with the stock fat. Then I added 1/4 cup of flour (a bit at a time) and cooked over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until it was a darker golden brown -- starting to really turn brown in spots. I added about 4 cups of stock along with some fresh thyme and salt and pepper. – Martha F. Nov 25 '10 at 18:15
You might want to back off on the heat a bit. A darker roux is fine, but it is usually approached much more slowly than 3-4 minutes. I would expect a very light roux in that amount of time, just enough to cook off the raw flour taste, but not add any real color. – Doug Johnson-Cookloose Nov 26 '10 at 0:54
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Gravy is supposed to be opaque and is a result of using flour as the thickener. If you want clear gravy, like what you would get in a Chinese restaurant, then you need to use corn starch or arrowroot as your thickener. But the opacity is considered to be a good thing. It's the canned stuff you buy in the store that is clear.

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