Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving or Anytime
What better way to show off your Thanksgiving turkey, than with a rich and flavorful turkey gravy? I love gravy, but it isn’t part of our everyday meals at home. I am more likely to make a quick pan sauce or a reduction than I am to make a large amount of gravy. Except for Thanksgiving. Then, I make a generous amount–enough for the Thanksgiving meal as well as leftovers the next day. And the next.
My favorite part of the meal is perfect mashed potatoes served with thick, rich turkey gravy. If there are seconds to be had (and there always are), I’m heading back to the potatoes. The turkey will keep for leftovers, but those creamy mashed spuds have a limited life span so I’m jumping on the mashed potato gravy train. “All aboard!”
If you are looking for a shortcut, check out this recipe for preparing a quick and easy turkey gravy and don’t forget to check out my article Talking Turkey for tips and suggestions on how to cook your bird.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 rib celery
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
The neck and giblets (except the liver) from the turkey
1/2 cup apple juice
2 Tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or brandy
4 cups homemade chicken stock or turkey stock
4 cups mixed cooking liquids from your Thanksgiving side dishes (potatoes, peas, green beans, etc)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns - whole
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
Turkey pan drippings - all but 2-3 Tablespoons of fat skimmed off
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper - to taste
How To Prepare At Home
Peel and chop the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Measure out the 8 cups of liquid (stock plus cooking liquids).
Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the neck and giblets and cook until the meats are cooked through and have taken on a bit of color.
Add the chopped vegetables and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. You may need to turn the heat down to low or medium-low.
Mix the apple juice and brandy together, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the juice mixture to the pan to deglaze, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce until the juice evaporates to an essence. (Approx. 5 minutes)
Add the 8 cups of liquid, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, poultry seasoning and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for one hour. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Strain this "quick stock" and set aside.
Remove turkey from roasting pan. Pour off pan drippings and reserve. Place roasting pan over high heat (straddling two burners, if necessary) and deglaze with white wine.
Skim all but 2-3 Tablespoons of the fat from the reserved pan drippings and return the drippings to the pan.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook over medium-high heat, scraping and stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the quick stock and bring liquid to a boil over medium heat to thicken.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer before serving.
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