Well, Thanksgiving is almost here and many of us fear the gravy. Fear NOT! You don’t need flour. You don’t need to reduce anything. And for heaven’s sake, you don’t need some powdered packet from the grocery store. I have been playing around with my gravy for years, and this is where I’ve landed. It’s a commitment, but you will be having “some turkey with your gravy” by the time you take your first taste. Enjoy, and remember to tell the people you’re with on this holiday what you appreciate about them. And stay off politics!!!!!!! (see last blog)
Laura’s 20 years-in-the-making Delicious Coveted and Begged-for Turkey Gravy Recipe
(Not heart smart, but who cares. It’s one or two meals a year!)
The secret to this liquid gold requires some prep time but it pays off. Oh, does it pay off. The idea is this: you dice an abundance of vegetables and line the roasting pan with them, cover with a rack and rest the turkey on the rack so that the juices drip into the vegetables during the cooking process. Then, while the turkey is resting, you puree the entirety of the pan ingredients, grease and all, in a blender, and that is your gravy thickener! It should be illegal. The base is your reduced giblet stock. It’s so easy and no stress and no raw flour ick and no corn starch yuck, and no intimidating de-glazing and no gizmo-dependent grease/juice separating… I’m telling you. It’s the BEST. Don’t be intimidated by the prep work. I chop all the vegetables for the pan and for the stock the night before and put them in respective zip-loc bags so that Thanksgiving morning, I don’t have to do any more chopping than necessary for other preparations, like stuffing etc. I strongly recommend this. I never used to do this, and always was stymied by how long it takes to do this prep the morning of. Cuts down your turkey morning prep by an hour!
Ingredients for roasting pan: (if you do this the night before, put all of the vegetable out-takes (see parenthesis below) into a zip-loc bag for your giblet stock, so that you have 2 ziplocs– one for stock, one for pan)
Peel and dice:
2 Carrots (use the ends plus another carrot for giblet stock)
4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 Celery stalks (use the outer tougher stalks for giblet stock)
2 Shallot cloves
2 Garlic cloves
1 Leek (use the white part, and some of the green. Wash and reserve the tougher top greens for giblet stock)
1 yellow Onion
4 crimini Mushrooms (reserve the stems for giblet stock)
1 cup chopped (Yep): Parsley (Italian flat leaf), Sage, Rosemary and Thyme—fresh (use the stems/twigs for giblet stock)
1 stick Butter
1 cup dry white Wine
Ingredients for final touches:
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Melt butter in small saucepan and add white wine. Turn off heat once combined.
Lining your roasting pan: (gravy gold)
- Dump the diced veggies into the roasting pan.
- Pour a cup or so of the warm butter and wine mixture from stove. Salt/pepper.
- Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so that all the veggies are coated. (you don’t want them to dry out during the cooking process, so remember to baste them as well as the bird)
- Add any additional chopped herbs. This should coat the pan about an inch thick.
- Put the rack on top of this, flat.
- Put turkey on top and cover with additional butter wine, salt and pepper
Ingredients: (Don’t cheat and use canned broth. This stock has a very specific flavor and makes the gravy sooooooo good)
Giblets (The gross stuff in the turkey cavity, but get over it. Your hand is in a turkey cavity! That’s already gross.)
- 1 tbs. olive oil
Whole pepper corns
Out-takes from all of the above vegetables and herbs (described in parenthesis above. Best to put them in zip-loc bags while dicing the rest for the roasting pan the night before, to make prep time faster on Thanksgiving morning.)
Additional sprigs of rosemary and thyme, roughly chopped, stems/twigs included
1 garlic clove– crushed
1 medium yellow onion quartered
1 Yukon gold potato quartered
- Heat a large saucepan, add olive oil, not butter—too greasy. When hot, put in the liver. This needs to be cooked through first. Then deglaze the pan with Madeira—1/8 cup or so. This stuff has a lot of flavor and you don’t want it to overwhelm, but it’s perfect for this feast. Let it cook down—you don’t want the next ingredients to stew in pan, but to sear like the liver seared. (you might have to add a bit of olive oil again to give it something to cook in)
- Add the neck and other organs—brown
- Now add the veggie out-takes plus the additional veggies/herbs described above.
- Cover with water, a cup of wine, and add a few tablespoonsful of whole peppercorns and a few bay leaves.
- The trick to any stock is to bring it to a boil, and then drop the heat down so that it is just simmering. This is going to simmer all
- day. If it gets too low, then add more water. Taste it as it cooks to make sure the flavors are coming along. Add salt/pepper to taste.
- Keep to about 8 cups total
Gravy: (drum roll…HERE IT IS!!! My very own special, time-evolved gravy recipe!)
- When the turkey is done, remove from the rack and let rest, covered in foil.
- Remove the rack and put all the pan-liner veggies/fluids in a blender and puree
- Put a large bowl (preferably one with a pouring spout) in the sink with a colander on top of it.
- Strain the giblet stock.
- Pour the stock into a small/medium saucepan—should be about 8 cups of stock
- Add 3 tbs. or so of Madeira and lots of fresh ground pepper (a tbs. or so)
- Cook down for a few minutes.
- Now grab your whisk, and whisk in the puree, little by little until you get the right consistency.
It is absolute magic and you never need any flour or anything else for thickener!!! Secret shared! Now pass it on to future generations! Say you learned it from an old friend who wrote.
Are you longing to say what you want to say? Find your voice? Haven Writing Retreats is now booking for 2017. Click here for our calendar! The gift of voice awaits you in the woods of Montana.