November 9, 2012

Simplified Jus Gras

This adaptation of the Home Jus Gras recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home substitutes store-bought chicken stock and rendered duck fat in place of the homemade chicken jus and pressure-rendered chicken fat called for in the original. To illustrate the point that this is a very stable, very flavorful emulsion, feel free to substitute other water-based liquids in place of the chicken stock. Apple cider and beer are both great choices. Unlike the original recipe, here we add gelatin to the water component of the emulsion to give it the same mouthfeel as if it were made from the highly gelatinous pan drippings of roasted chicken wings and feet.

Scott Heimendinger, Director of Applied Research

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Simplified Jus Gras Recipe

Tips and Substitutions

  • Rendered duck fat is available in the frozen meat and poultry section of many grocery stores. It is commonly packaged in plastic tubs or as a slab.
  • Other liquid fats, such as warmed lard or bacon grease, are good substitutes for rendered duck fat.
  • You may substitute one leaf of gelatin for the powdered gelatin called for in the recipe. For other gelatin substitutions, see page 366 of Modernist Cuisine at Home.
  • Beer, apple cider, and other flavorful liquids work well as substitutions for chicken stock.
  • Liquid soy lecithin is available at health food stores and some soap- and candle-making suppliers. Poweder soy lecithin may not be substituted for liquid soy lecithin in this recipe.


  1. Charlotte November 12, 2012 Reply

    I have a question. I try to avoid soy as much as I can. Is there something else I can use in place of soy lecithin? Maybe whole egg yolks?

    Thank you..this is fascinating. I’d love to try it!

    • MikeJ November 15, 2012 Reply

      Your best bet would be Sunflower lecithin. I’m allergic to soy, so I tried to avoid it as much as possible too!

  2. Ali November 12, 2012 Reply

    Is it ok to use soy lecithin powder instead of liquid?

    • Ali November 12, 2012 Reply

      Just saw the note that it cannot be substituted – why is that? Just curious

  3. Henry November 13, 2012 Reply

    Can this be refrigerated or frozen? How do you reconstitute it if you do?

  4. Sam Fahey-Burke November 13, 2012 Reply

    Liquid Lecithin is used as an emulsifier, the powdered variety is better for making foams. If you substituted powdered lecithin in this recipe you’d end up with a frothy sauce, not a silky smooth emulsion.

  5. Dave K. November 14, 2012 Reply

    doh! i just threw out some duck fat from a sous vide duck i did a couple days ago. oh well. next duck.

  6. dave November 16, 2012 Reply

    can you sub sunflower lecithin for soy?

  7. Drew November 19, 2012 Reply

    May I use the defatted drippings of the turkey as the jus and the fat from it as the fat? I feel like the answer must be no if it’s not the default technique, but curious as to why.

    • Sam Fahey-Burke November 28, 2012 Reply

      Yes. That’ll work, provided the turkey drippings are the same consistency as the chicken jus.

  8. Drewstarr November 19, 2012 Reply

    I wasn’t clear in my above question. I’d like to use the xanthan and lecithin method along with my turkey’s juice & fat drippings (and maybe chicken stock as necessary). Can I? If so, how best to go about that? Thanks!

  9. underpressure November 20, 2012 Reply

    I would guess they suggest duck fat because it is simply amazing tasting and great to cook with. I don’t see why another animal fat would not work just fine. The important pieces here are the xanthan gum and the lecithin.

    What is unclear is whether another variety of lecithin could work. Lecithins are a class of compounds with different structures (and presumably slightly different chemistries). I have seen pea lecithin and egg lecithin on labels. As for allergies, this is not a protein but that is not to say it is pure and contains no soy or egg protein.

  10. james_pagdon November 21, 2012 Reply

    if you are trying to stay true to the taste why is their chicken and duck in my turkey gravy?

  11. Jake January 19, 2013 Reply

    I just used this to make a sausage gravy. It was pretty fantastic. If I did it again, I would wait until I have some bacon fat in the fridge to use. As it was, I used just over 20g of fat from the sausage, and then I filled in with about 60g of butter. It still had a lot of sausage flavor and was pretty great.

    I used chicken stock. After it was done, I added the sausage back in. I can’t see ever making gravy any other way… so darn good.

  12. Rbfields January 19, 2013 Reply

    Could you use agar agar instead of gelatin? If so how much would you use?

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