Got Gravy?


A turkey dinner is not complete without rich, brown gravy.

By FamilyTime

 

“Pass the gravy, please,” is a common refrain at most Thanksgiving tables.

And why not? What’s a turkey dinner without gravy? And what are pick-up meals the next day if there’s no gravy to go with the leftovers?

Canned or Homemade?

Many home cooks rely on jars of commercially prepared gravy, as well as powdered mixes. Doing so makes life easier and these aren’t bad options at all. Even if you plan to make your own gravy this Thanksgiving, it’s a good idea to have a jar or two of the storebought variety in the pantry to help you stretch the meal well into the weekend.

When you heat up the jarred gravy or mix up the powdered version, taste before you serve it. These can be made even better with the addition of wine or sherry, chopped fresh herbs, or a little turkey or chicken broth.

Homemade Gravy

Traditional gravies are made from the drippings of roasted or pan-cooked meats. When you roast a turkey, there’s a wealth of drippings in the bottom of the roasting pan made up of fat and juices from the bird.

Lift the turkey from the roasting pan and set it aside to rest before carving. The bird should rest for at least 20 minutes and is fine for 35 or 40, which means you have ample time to make gravy.

How to Make Gravy

  • Let the drippings cool slightly in the roasting pan so that the fat rises to the surface and you can remove most of it. Don’t take it all if you want tasty gravy!
  • Remove the fat by skimming it off the surface with a metal spoon, blotting it with paper towels, pouring it very carefully into another container, or using a baster to suck the fat from the drippings. There also are kitchen pitchers designed to separate fat and broth, which are handy.
  • Put the roasting pan with the remaining drippings and at least four or five tablespoons of fat over two burners on the stovetop. Turn both burners to medium heat.
  • Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour in the roasting pan and whisk it vigorously with the pan drippings to make a roux and to break up any lumps. As the roux cooks, keep whisking. The gravy will start to brown and rid itself of any floury flavor.
  • Raise the heat to high and start adding turkey stock, canned broth, or water. Obviously turkey stock provides the best flavor, followed by canned chicken broth. Water works, but isn’t the best choice.
  • Keep stirring, adding liquid until you have enough gravy and it’s a good consistency. Add more flour if needed. Some cooks like to stir in a little cornstarch to thicken.
  • Season the gravy with salt and pepper and some chopped fresh herbs, if you have them. Some cooks flavor gravy with a little wine or sherry. It’s up to you!
  • Strain the gravy through a sieve into a gravy boat or pitcher. If you’ve made a lot, you will need several vessels! You may want to adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, or add more herbs. Or both.

Congratulations! You now have homemade gravy just begging to meet up with some mashed potatoes!