GRAVY!!! This will work for WHATEVER kind of gravy you are making! Today we’re specifically talking about turkey (because, well, it’s that kind of day, right?) but this is a general primer on making gravy, period.
Special tool? A decent-sized jar with a tight-fitting lid.
CLASSIC (with a roasted-in-the-oven bird)
- Start with the roasting pan, all sticky gooey bits still attached. Set it over a LOW burner (or 2, if you can straddle 2 burners) If there is no grease, add ¼ c butter and melt it in the pan, stirring and scraping up bits.
- IN THAT JAR . . . shake up ¼ c flour (more if you have a big pan and lots of grease, or want more gravy!) and ½ c liquid (stock made from giblets, or already-made homemade stock, canned stock, or water) until smooth. Pour it into the pan, scraping and stirring.
- Cook until thick – at least 4 minutes. You are cooking the RAW out of the flour.
- Slowly stir in more liquid, 1 c at a time. USE STOCK OR BROTH HERE. In between additions, let it simmer to thickness. Stir constantly – this keeps the bottom of the pan from burning and keeps scraping up the goodies, making your gravy nice and dark.
- When the gravy is thick enough, voluminous enough, dark enough, and yummy enough (get a taster, or taste it yourself!) – strain it into a container. (If you don’t have a lot of chunky bits, you can leave this step out.)
STARTING FROM SCRATCH (no roasted bird. Maybe you’re smoking the turkey, or deep frying it . . .)
- ¼-1/2 c butter OR chicken or turkey fat
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
- OPTIONAL: chopped mushrooms
- ½ tsp thyme
- In a roasting pan or a good-sized skillet, melt fat. Caramelize veggies until they are deep brown and the pan is kind of glazed with goodness.
- Using that jar . . . shake up ¼ c flour (more if you used more fat) with ½ cup liquid (stock is ideal!)
- Keep going as if you had a roasted bird to start with.
VEGANS can substitute oil for butter, vegetable stock for other liquid, and definitely should add mushrooms to the mix. If you’re making beef gravy, you may even have to pour off some fat to begin with, as the beef will throw off a lot more grease than you can use.