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I cooked a chicken dish with a watery gravy. The dish is already fully cooked and flavoured well, but the gravy is thinner than I would like. I know that gravy can be thickened with cornstarch, but I would prefer not to add cornstarch to the dish.

Is there any other solution to thicken a thin gravy?

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Your options are really limited to:

  • Reducing, i.e. simmering until you have less of a thicker gravy, but then (i) you might not have enough and (ii) you risk overcooking the chicken (and some other ingredients) unless you remove them.
  • Thickening.

Corn starch is a common way to thicken but many other starches also work. You could even make a roux of flour and butter, then mix plenty of the gravy into that, and add back in. Depending on your dish, you may be able to use a compatible thickener with some flavour (coconut flour works in some curries, for example) but in general you're best using a neutral starch. I suggest being sparing with it - in my opinion a slightly thin sauce is preferable to an over-thickened cloying one.

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    Just a caution if simmering to reduce: simmering for long time can overcook the chicken (if using chicken breast, it can become hard and if on-the-bone chicken, it can start falling off the bone). To avoid that, you can remove the chicken pieces from gravy and then simmer until you get the desired thickness, add the chicken back. – Ess Kay Oct 26 '18 at 11:11
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    @EssKay good point. It's a while since I cooked chicken (at all, never mine in a sauce on the stove) and with a lot of the veg dishes I cook (lots of beans, lentils etc.) mildly overcooking the veg helps thicken the sauce. I'll edit – Chris H Oct 26 '18 at 11:16
  • Wondra! That stuff could thicken mercury. – Dave Kanter Oct 26 '18 at 19:27
  • @DaveKanter I don't think we have anything like that here, but it sounds handy – Chris H Oct 26 '18 at 19:41
  • Where are you located? It's in the baking section where I live. – Dave Kanter Oct 26 '18 at 19:48

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