I've been busy preparing for my family's Thanksgiving dinner, but thought I should rush out an article on how I'm going to prepare my gravy this year. This recipe is from The New Best Recipe and is made in three steps.
Since it's not Thanksgiving yet, I'll describe what I'm planning on doing this year - I don't have my copy of the New Best Recipe in front of me, so I shall paraphrase and write as if I had already done this (but keep in mind I have not).
First, I took the giblets (neck, heart, gizzard, etc.) that we set aside when preparing the turkey for roasting and sauteed them in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once they were brown, I threw in a chopped medium onion and continued to saute until the onions became tender. I covered the pot and let the giblets and onion cook for about twenty minutes over low heat.
Then, I poured in six cups of turkey stock and tossed in 2 sprigs of fresh thyme with 8 stems of fresh parsley. I brought the mixture to a boil and then allowed it to simmer for an additional thirty minutes. At this point, the first step is complete and the broth can be refrigerated for later use in gravy making.
On the day that the turkey roast occurs, I brought the broth to a simmer. While the broth was heating, I melted three tablespoons butter and whisked in a 1/4 cup all purpose flour to make a roux. I continued to cook and whisk the roux until it became a nice shade of brown. Pouring a little at a time, I whisked in four cups of simmering turkey broth (reserve one cup for use later). I worked out all the lumps and let the mixture simmer for thirty minutes before removing it from the heat.
Once the turkey has been removed from the oven and set aside to rest, I spooned off as much oil from the roasting pan as possible. (You can reserve this to mix some back into the gravy later as desired.) I deglazed the roasting pan with a cup of dry white wine and once most of the brown bits were craped off the pan with a wooden spoon, I added the reserved cup of turkey broth. Now, I poured the contents of the pan through a strainer into the four cups of gravy we had prepared while the turkey was roasting. (You can chop up the meaty giblets and stir them into the gravy if desired at this point.) Then I seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.
Also, I think this recipe is a perfect example of why the recipe summaries (see below) should be used as kitchen notes or reminders and work well only if you've read the text of the recipe first.
Giblet Pan Gravy (makes about 6 cups) Turkey broth (makes about 5 cups)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
cover 20 min.
simmer 30 min.
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 quarts turkey stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 stems fresh parsley
Gravy (make while turkey roasts; makes about 4 cups)
I followed these instructions (more or less) this year and the result was wonderful. The powdered 'gravy' that the hostess had planned on using went back in the drawer pretty quickly once this arrived. That and the cranberry sauce from Ming Tsai (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_17018,00.html) and a soy-maple brined turkey (http://www.recipezaar.com/mycookbook/getrecipe.zsp?id=23686) and this thanksgiving was food paradise.
My mom uses the turkey broth that she drains from the turkey roasting and uses that in her giblet gravy. She makes sure she runs it through a colander first though. Then she adds the turkey neck meat, as the other goodies (liver, heart, etc,...) she chops and puts into the cornbread stuffing. If the gravy needs additional broh she uses cans of chicken or even veggie broth. She adds corn starch to the gravy as well as s/p to taste.
It is sure pretty tasty!
This suggestion may be covered elsewhere, but a good rule of thumb for any thickening agent:
Add cold roux to hot stock or cold stock to hot roux.
The finished product will come out much better if there is a significant temperature difference when combining them. Either start with cold stock, and bring the roux/stock mixture up to a simmer or let the roux cool to room temp before adding to the simmering stock.
I totally advocate the use of hot roux/cold stock or cold roux/hot stock for safety reasons. My cooking instructor was burned by a student because the student mixed hot stock into hot roux while the instructor was checking out his gravy. The instructor had warned us about the danger of mixing hot stock with hot roux..guess the student will never forget that warning ever again!
I used a recipe yesterday from Cook's Illustrated that sounds like the same one they put in the New Best Recipe except that it started with chicken broth instead of turkey stock.
With regards to the hot broth/hot roux, I can attest that it can cause steam burns.... Having never made turkey gravy before, I wanted to make it in a container that was big enough for the six cups of gravy, and the recipe called for a saucepan, so I used a 3-qt saucepan that was about as tall as it was wide. That was a big mistake--the verticality of the pan concentrated the steam as I added the hot broth to the very hot roux and I got a rather nasty steam burn on my index finger that was holding the whisk. I got to spend the rest of the time finishing the gravy with my nondominant hand while my dominant hand was swishing about in a bowl of cool water and having to have other people give me a lot of help. (I was glad this morning when I noticed that my finger hadn't blistered, as I had expected it to.) Next time I'll use a large skillet so I can keep my hand well away of the steam and the steam can dissipate more readily and/or cool the roux.
Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:24 am Post subject: Gravy-making based on drip-pan contents
I've found that gravy is best made by just adding (sprinkling a little at a time so there are NO lumps) flour onto the fat in the drip-pan content that results from a bird or beef roast sitting on a rack above. Drain some fat if you need to, but a roux is a roux and you just mix the flour in the usual proportions for fat/flour and cook it THOROUGHLY - preferably to the "chocolate" color. At that point you can start adding stock or whatever liquids you want - just drizzle it in there and keep stirring and keep adding, and monitor the thickness - it's going to take 1/2 hour at least - don't rush it - just like any other roux - drink at least two beers.
Joined: 10 May 2005 Posts: 1654 Location: Austin, TX (USA)
Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:32 pm Post subject: Re: An Engineer?
"On the day that the turkey roast occurs, I brought the broth to a simmer".
"Once the turkey has been removed from the oven and set aside to rest, I spooned off as much oil from the roasting pan as possible."
---How about engineering a sentence!
Sorry - I generally write these articles as quickly as possible, and it still takes hours at a time. It's often difficult for me to form coherent sentences after work in the wee hours of the morning when the articles invariable get written. I do appreciate typos and grammatic errors pointed out to me, but generally prefer to receive them via e-mail so the article can be fixed without comments being added to the thread.
Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:07 pm Post subject: Giblet Pan Gravy Best Ever
I wanted to thank you for this recipe. I tried it yesterday at Thanksgiving, and it was hands-down, the best gravy we've ever had in our lives!! Simply Amazing. We brined our turkey, which may have affected how wonderfully flavorful it was, but either way it's an excellent method, and one I will put in my files permanently.
Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:21 am Post subject: Awesome gravy
Gravy is such a crucial part of the meal...it goes on the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing. This recipe is absolutely awesome. It takes a lot of time, but was definitely worth every second.
The only variation I made was in the last step. I ended up with a lot of liquid in the turkey pan, so after straining it and skimming the fat, I added only about 2 cups to the gravy mixture. I then cooked it down and added a little cornstarch to thicken it up.
I'm on my wife's good list today, and I bet I'll be making this awesome gravy again at Christmas. Thanks!!!