It took me forever to get the grasp of gravy – I always left it up to my mom as I busied myself with the side dishes and fiddled to get the stuffing out of the bird. But now I’ve got the hang of it, and can make a pretty amazing gravy if I do say so myself. All you need is drippings and stock, with a bit of flour to thicken (rice flour works very well if you’re going gluten-free) and some salt and pepper. For a darker gravy, add a splash of soy sauce instead of the salt, or toast your flour in a dry skillet -as you would toast nuts- before adding it to the pan.
I assume you’ve already roasted the turkey, yes? It’s lovely, sitting there on your cutting board resting, allowing its juices to redistribute while you gather the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan or set the whole thing over the burner. Don’t forget those dark, sticky bits – they have the most flavor. Lumps in gravy are wonderful if they’re not flour, they’re bits of roasted meat and stuffing.
Have some good chicken stock on hand, and an open bottle of wine (of course you have this already – it helped you get through the roasting process, didn’t it?) – keep in mind that too much red wine will make your gravy turn a funny color.
To make gravy, first remove as much fat as you can from the pan juices, and set it aside. Drain the juices into another container. Place the roasting pan or another saucepan over medium-high heat while the chicken is resting. Add 1-2 Tbsp. of the reserved chicken fat or olive or canola oil to the pan, whisk in 2-4 Tbsp. of flour and cook the mixture, whisking constantly and scraping up any flavorful browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the it turns golden. Whisk in the reserved juices plus enough chicken stock to make about 2 cups and cook, whisking constantly, until the gravy bubbles and thickens. If you have some roasted garlic cloves that roasted with the chicken, smush them into the gravy as well. Season it with salt and pepper.
Enjoy! And do try to share. After all, it is Thanksgiving.
Photo credit: istockphoto/MentalArt