Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Make-Ahead Giblet Gravy

The very best thing I did in helping prepare last year's Thanksgiving feast was deciding to make the gravy ahead of time. Why wait for the turkey to come out of the oven and throw things together at the last minute? (And it's a moot point at my family's gathering...the turkey is a smoked turkey breast. No drippings available.)

Inspired by an episode of the Barefoot Contessa, here's what I came up with:

Make-Ahead Giblet Gravy
Makes about 3 cups.

Ahead of time, bake two turkey thighs (readily available at your grocery store) at 350° until done, about 50 minutes. (I seasoned mine with a little thyme, sage, salt and garlic pepper.) Set aside to cool. Scrape the drippings from the bottom of the pan and save to use as the base for the gravy. Save the thighs also. You'll take the skin off and chop them up to be your "giblets."

When you're ready to make the gravy, heat the drippings in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add one onion, finely chopped, and cook in the drippings until just translucent. Add three tablespoons flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. (This makes the roux that will thicken the gravy.)

Add your liquid (I used a good-quality turkey stock I found at the grocery, but you could use chicken stock, wither homemade or canned), about three cups. Whisk over medium-high heat until thickened to gravy consistency, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the chopped turkey dark meat and voila. (This year, I'm gilding the lily by adding a few chopped cooked chicken livers for some TRUE giblet flavor.)

Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to reheat for the big meal.

You'll love it.

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