Sunday, November 13, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Gravy 101

Thanks to Martha (yes, THAT Martha) and her magazine, here's a primer on your gravy for Turkey Day. (My text, not hers.)

  • Your pan drippings are the foundation of a good gravy. Baste the bird often, adding 1/2 cup dry white wine 30 minutes into roasting.  Watch the pan and add more liquid if necessary to make sure the fats and juices aren't burning.
  • You need some stock.  While the turkey is cooking, combine 1 turkey neck, 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 1/4 onion, 10 peppercorns, and a bundle of herbs (parsley, rosemary and a bay leaf) in a  large saucepan.  Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about an hour.  Strain and discard solids.  Let cool.
  • When the bird is done, transfer to a platter and let rest.  Reserve the pan and drippings and continue.... 
  • Slurry it up.  Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup stock.  Shake, shake, shake.
  • Pour the pan drippings into a fat separator and let it do its thing. You want one cup of fat-free drippings.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan, setting it across two burners and pour in 1/2 cup dry white wine.  Bring to a boil and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Into the roasting pan, whisk the slurry and remaining stock.  Add defatted pan juice and bring to a boil.  Cook until thickened, about 12 minutes.
  • Strain the gravy and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. 
  • Makes a little less than two cups...lots of effort, for not much product, but is SOOOO worth it.  After all, there's only one Thanksgiving a year.

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