Nov 19, 2012

"Perfect" Turkey Gravy

 I think most would agree that your Thanksgiving plate is not complete without a generous pour of gravy overtop. Confession: I've bought pre-made gravy almost every year for the past 10 years. I've spent all my time focusing on brining the turkey, blanching the green beans, baking the stuffing, and whipping the potatoes that I didn't leave anytime to make the gravy. Plus, when I brined the turkey, it left the pan juices too salty and sweet to use as a gravy. So here's my solution: make the gravy ahead of time! And here's my recipe how...

  • 1-whole turkey (about 8 lb), butchered/split to separate all parts - discard organs
  • 4 large carrots, peeled
  • 4 large celery stalks, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion, with peel intact, quartered
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 2 sprigs fresh savory
  • 4 sprigs fresh curly parsley
  • 1 Tbs peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 8 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium
  • 1/2 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roast your bones and vegetables to make the stock -

Preheat oven at 425ºF. Lay turkey neck, wings, thighs, drumsticks, carrots, celery, onions in roasting pan. Drizzle with vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour.

In a large stock pot or slow cooker add fresh herbs, peppercorns, bay leaves and broth. Add roasted bones, vegetables, and remaining turkey meat. Bring to a boil before simmering on low for 4-6 hours. Strain through cheesecloth and strainer. Refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.

Remove fat that's separated through chilling. Set aside. In a medium fry pan off the heat, add bacon. Turn to medium heat and let render. Drain bacon pieces leaving fat in the pan (should be about 2 Tbs of bacon fat left over). Add 6 Tbs of turkey fat to large sauce pan along with bacon fat over medium heat. Allow to melt before adding flour. Stir for about 1 minute until flour is well incorporated to make roux. A little at a time, add turkey stock to roux until smooth. Bring to boil before reducing heat until ready to serve. Or set aside, allow to cool completely before storing in fridge for later. Makes 8 cups of gravy, or 16 servings.

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