Any gravy, but especially a delicious Thanksgiving Day Turkey Gravy, with a smooth, lump free texture is the most difficult to master. This tried and true recipe can be table ready in a fast 20 minutes and serves 10-12 people. It makes about 64 ounces (1/2 American gallon or close to 2 liters). Serving size ranges from a polite 2 Tbsp to a gravy lover’s 1/2 cup (1/8th liter)
What you need:
— Large sized sauce pan (4-6 quart)
— Wooden stir spoon and/or silicone plastic scraper
— 2 cup measuring cup
— Approximately 2 cup container with a tight fitting lid
— Poultry drippings from a 10-12 pound turkey
— 1 to 2 cups of cold water
— 1/4 to 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
— Salt and pepper seasoning to taste (white pepper preferred—for appearance)
To start… Remove the cooked turkey and plate it to rest 30 minutes before carving.
Pour off the juices from the turkey into the sauce pan.
Scrape all surfaces of the turkey roasting pan into the saucepan (as flavoring) including small pieces of meat that may be stuck to the roasting pan.
If a lower fat content gravy is desired, pour the drippings instead into several large glass measuring cups or bowls until the juices separate; (I speed this up by placing the cups in the freezer on hot pads.) Then skim off the fat portion from the top using a spoon or ladle. (This step may delay the gravy making by one hour or more depending on your freezer…I sometimes do this a day ahead for a fat free gravy)
If the work area on the stove is large enough, the juices can be left in the roasting pan and then the pan placed over two burners for cooking the gravy. Sometimes the bottom of the pan has a large amount of dried juices, add hot water to the roasting pan to reconstitute the dried portions into flavorful juices, before pouring off into the sauce pan.
To Cook gravy:
Set burner temperature to medium-high heat to bring the juices to a low boil.
Fill the 2-cup glass or plastic container about half full of cold water (8 oz) and place 2-3 tablespoons of flour in to the water.
Close lid tightly and shake to thoroughly blend. Inspect the mixture; if lumpy, pour through a strainer into the heated sauce pan (or roaster pan). Tip: If you shake the jar vigorously the lumps tend to disappear.
Next stir the mixture into the boiling juices.
Immediately upon adding the flour and water mixture, stir the juices while gently boiling to thoroughly blend the mixture into the gravy. Repeat for thicker gravy. This step may be done 2-3 times depending on how much gravy is being thickened. Allow the gravy to cook while stirring as this is what creates the thickening.
Caution: After adding the flour/water thickener into the juices, check consistency before adding more of the flour/water mixture. Putting in too much flour and water at once, without stirring it in, will make a gravy too thick to serve. (You will know if it is too thick because it will have the consistency of a pudding, not a gravy). Also, too much thickener (a cup of flour or more) can make the gravy taste like flour; adding salt and pepper (and maybe poultry seasoning) will correct the flavor.
When thickened, reduce heat to medium low or simmer and stir to prevent sticking to the pan bottom.
Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes adding salt and white pepper to taste.
Remove from stove and pour into gravy bowls for immediate serving.
TURKEY GIBLET GRAVY
Start cooking giblets on the stove top right after putting the turkey in the oven. To make giblet gravy, place the defrosted giblets in a 2 quart saucepan, cover them with water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 and hours. Use the water from the simmering giblets as part of the gravy stock. I typically prepare two kinds of gravy, one with giblets and one without depending on my guests preferences. When cooked, remove the giblets from the pan and let them cool to room temperature so they can be processed without getting burned. This can be done after they have simmered the 2 to 2-1/2 hours. You will know the giblets are cooked when the meat falls off the neck bone and the liver will crumble when touched.
Coarsely chop meat, (liver, heart, gizzard) by pulsing in a blender, and add it to the gravy mixture being prepared as giblet gravy. If you do not have a blender then use a cutting board and a sharp knife to coarsely chop the meat (1/4 inch square pieces). Remove the neck meat and shred with a fork and then add it to the gravy mix.
The giblets contained in a 10-12 pound turkey typically produce about 8 ounces of chopped meat.
Monitor the stove top temperature, and stir constantly to prevent burning the gravy. All gravy should be brought to a 190 degrees F to insure healthy eating and should be seasoned to the cook’s taste before being served.
More Thanksgiving Day Dinner Recipes: