Thanksgiving Gravy

  gravy

[infobox subtitle="Floats Along" bg="black" color="black" opacity="on" space="30" link="no link"]The Gravy Boat[/infobox]

Gravy is arguably the best part of Thanksgiving, amirite?  Or is it the Sage Stuffing?  I'm actually leaning towards the gravy because you can put it ON the stuffing...and everything else.  Especially when flavored appropriately, gravy is smooth, decadent, and brings out the deep flavors that a roasted turkey creates after hours of browning and bubbling.

This gravy recipe is unique in that the first part allows you to save some time on the day of and really expand your recipe to accomodate more guests.  The day before the big day, simply make a roux and add chicken stock, allowing it to boil and cool.  This will serve as your gravy base.  The day of, you'll make a nice stock using the bones and giblets, and then deglaze the roasting pan itself to collect the brown bits from that pan.

The most important part of the gravy making process?  Allowing those brown bits to form in the bottom of the turkey roasting pan as your Thanksgiving Turkey cooks. When the turkey begins to roast, brown bits form from the juices falling off the bird as the temperature rises (a Mallard reaction).  Keep your fingers crossed for as many brown bits as possible as they add complexity and flavor to the gravy once the roasting pan is deglazed with a bit of wine.

In general, this Gravy recipe is a bit out of the box because there are a couple different processes, but the final result is a delicious and smooth gravy your guests won't be able to get enough of!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Gravy

[tabgroup layout="horizontal"] [tab title="Ingredients"]6 tablespoons butter + more for other steps

6 tablespoons flour

Chicken Broth (about 8 cups)

Turkey neck and giblets

Half an onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Half a celery stick, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2-3 bay leaves

Parsley stems

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Juice from Turkey Roasting Pan

Brown Bits from Turkey Roasting Pan

White Wine to deglaze[/tab]

[tab title="Procedure"]1. The day before Thanksgiving, make the base for your gravy by making a roux then adding chicken stock until it boils and thickens.  To do this, melt butter completely in a sauce pan then add flour, whisking together into a paste and cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat.  Add hot chicken stock (about 5-6 cups) to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.  Allow the gravy base to boil so the starch in the flour expands, thickening the gravy.  Boil for 5-10 minutes.  Allow gravy base to cool completely and refrigerate until Thanksgiving.

2. On Thanksgiving, brown neck and giblets in butter in a large sauce pan.  Once browned remove from the pan, melt some additional butter and brown onion, carrot, and celery.  Add the bones and giblets back to the pan, add chicken stock (or turkey stock if you have it) to cover, bay leaves, parsley stems, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain , cool the liquid and set aside.

3. When the turkey is finished cooking, pour the juice from the pan into a bowl and allow the fat to come to the top.  Spoon the fat off of the turkey juice.  Over medium heat, deglaze the brown bits off of the pan using white wine and by scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add turkey juice, the turkey liquid from the bones, and the gravy base to the pan.  Allow the gravy to boil to let the different liquids come together.  Scrape any fat that comes to the top off of the gravy.  Season with salt and pepper until it tastes just right.  If your gravy needs to thicken, you can boil it down further (the saltiness will intensify so be careful) or add a bit of flour and butter paste (take soft room temp butter and mix it with equal parts flour) to the gravy, stirring to thicken (it must boil).[/tab] [tab title="Notes"]Serves: 8-12 people

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 3 hours over the course of 2 days[/tab] [/tabgroup]