Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey Gravy

Makes about 3 cups
For this gravy, you first must make a turkey stock using the necks and giblets of your roasting turkey.  It’s best to make the stock while your bird roasts.  Then, you’ll use the fat from the pan drippings to make the gravy.

I’m the kind of person who likes to drench absolutely everything on my Thanksgiving plate in gravy.  If you’ve got more than one like me at your table, I’d advise doubling this recipe at least.  To do this, and to do it without roasting another turkey, you’ll need more fat, so use 1/4 cup butter.  And make sure to buy some extra turkey necks and giblets, which is easy to do at most grocery stores.  
 Turkey Gravy

1 Tbl vegetable oil
reserved turkey neck and giblets from 1 turkey
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken stock (I really like Swanson’s Free Range Organic Chicken Broth
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup liquid fat from turkey drippings
6 Tbl all-purpose flour
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat in a large saucepot or Dutch oven.
Add the turkey neck and giblets and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, water, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and keep at a bare simmer until reduced by half, about 3 hours.  Strain the stock, discarding the solids. 

Meanwhile, after the turkey is done roasting, strain the pan drippings into a measuring cup.  Let the liquid settle so that the fat separates from the juices, then skim off the top layer of fat.  You should have about 1/4 cup fat.  Reserve the fat, and add the de-fatted juices to the stock.

Heat the reserved fat in the saucepot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Whisk in about a third of the warm stock, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in half of the remaining stock and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the rest of the stock and whisk until smooth.  (Slowly whisking in the stock like this, and whisking in between additions, will insure a smooth gravy.  So will using warm stock instead of cold.)  Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Taste and season as needed with salt & pepper.