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Old 01-26-2011, 09:31 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
We're talking about two different animals here. Roux (flour cooked in oil) is employed at the beginning of the cooking cycle and the lukewarm liquid from the dish is added to the warm or hot roux (think gravy). Adding roux to hot liquid will usually result in lumps, which is why it's made first.

Thickeners (or white wash), on the other hand (such as flour, cornstarch, etc. mixed with water), may be added at the end, since the hot liquid will release the starches in the flour. The problem with this method is that the dish will likely taste floury, since the flour has not cooked.
I thought OP was talking specifically about roux. With slurries, of course, you do usually add them at the end, but I'm not a fan of slurries unless I'm in a hurry. They're not very flavorful, and as you said, they can taste floury.