Saturday, November 22, 2014

Making Gravy 101 - It's almost Turkey time!

What's turkey without the gravy?

Super simple and very tasty.  Here's a how-to that explains it all.  And here's two great recipes that will give you perfect gravy for your holiday.

Making Gravy

The perfect complement to roast turkey and dressing, turkey gravy is especially delicious when made from the pan juices thickened with roux (a mixture of butter and flour) and enhanced with turkey or chicken stock. You can also flavor the gravy with sherry, Madeira or other wine.  (this is my favorite gravy recipe!) 

Turkey Gravy
3/4 cup water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 Tbs. dry sherry, Madeira or other wine (optional) (we used balsamic vinegar the other day!)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Skim and discard any fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Or use a gravy separator and pour the defatted juices back into the pan.

2. Add the water to the pan and place over medium heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer the juices to a bowl.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until bubbly. Add the flour and whisk rapidly for a few seconds to cook the flour.
4. Rapidly whisk in the reserved pan juices and the stock. Cook until smooth and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and season with salt and pepper.

5. If desired, pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve into a warmed sauceboat or wide-mouthed pitcher. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups gravy.

article and pictures courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Here's another great gravy recipe that you can make ahead...and save yourself some time!

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Makes 4 cups

2 1/4 pounds turkey drumsticks
3 carrots, cut into pieces
1 large onion, quartered
6 fresh parsley sprigs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

1. Brown Drumsticks and Veggies: Preheat oven to 400°. Pat drumsticks dry. Cook drumsticks and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Cook drumsticks 3 minutes on each side; cook vegetables, at the same time, stirring often.
2. Reserve Flavorful Pan Drippings: Bake drumsticks and vegetables in pan at 400° for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of drumsticks registers 160°. Remove from oven. Remove and discard vegetables and parsley using a slotted spoon. Reserve drumsticks for another use.
3. Whisk in Chicken Broth and Stir Until Smooth: Whisk flour into hot drippings in pan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Whisk in pepper.

4. Cook Gravy to Thicken and Develop Flavor: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, and gently boil, whisking occasionally, 45 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt to taste

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