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Old 11-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Need help with turkey gravy

This will be the first year I'm actually cooking my own turkey. There is only 2 of us and I don't want to go to all the trouble of making a complicated gravy, does anybody have any suggestions on how to make a decent gravy that is quick and easy, can I just add flour to the drippings and then whisk in some stock with some herbs????

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Old 11-22-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
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Yes, that's how I make it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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You can do that, but often there will be a layer of fat that rises to the top. My mom always just made a slurry and whisked that into what was in the bottom of the pan after fishing out any bits that she didn't want.

The way I do it is pour off the liquid in the pan into a gravy separator I wait a minute for the fat to rise to the top and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of fat back into the roasting pan that is on top of a burner set to medium. I add a couple tablespoons of flour to make a roux and cook the roux for a minute. I add back the drippings (not the fat) and whisk that in, I add enough broth or stock to bring it to the right thickness. If I am feeling fancy I'll strain the gravy to make it look pretty.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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making gravy is one of those things that varies from ultimate simplicity to very complex.

"taste" more-or-less coincides with "degree of complexity" - but there is "over do"

at the ultimate simple level - cook equal parts by volume fat (butter works well....) and flour, after it's cooked (gets rid of the raw flour taste) add water. flour thickens water, bingo, you got "gravy."

things that add taste are the flavor of the fat and the other "solids" that get incorporated into the gravy.

in the good ole' days, when the turkey was done, it was removed from the porcelain roasting pan, the roasting pan went on the burner(s) for "deglazing" - if you're using a disposable aluminum foil roasting pan, this is not a good idea. scraping the pan to loosen the 'fond' will likely result in holes and a big mess on the stovetop . . .

"add flour to the drippings" - that works. unless you've deglazed the pan, just pouring out whatever is there will miss some goodies - but as mentioned, deglazing the pan entails some "conditions of a practical nature."

the liquids coming out of the roasting pan are unlikely to produce the volume of gravy needed.

because the volume of fat/water/fond extracted from the roasting pan is a bit unpredictable, here's my madness approach:

for each person I plan on half a cup of gravy (4 fluid ounces) and I plan in 50% extra for gravy fans and leftovers - so my "finished" goal is 6 fl oz of gravy per person.
for example if you're serving mashed potatoes with puddles of gravy, double the 4 ounce + extra theory....

in advance:
prepare 4 tbsp flour with 4 tbsp butter roux, cooked to a blond stage, cool, refrigerate
(that's a safe planning quantity for 2 quarts of gravy)
procure multiple cans of chicken stock (okay, okay, chicken ain't turkey, but it's close)
procure dried mushrooms - if you hate mushrooms, omit this step
procure leeks / scallions - if you hate onions, omit this step
if you like giblet gravy, boil/cook/braise/stew & dice the giblets. save/refrigerate them in their own juices.
(use a minimum of water when cooking the giblets)
if you hate giblets, omit this step

bring one can of chicken stock to a simmer, add finely diced onion, dried mushroom, remove from heat, allow to "steep" for 20-30 minutes.
remove the biggie dried mushroom chunks and dice finely.

on 'the Day'
at this point, the turkey is cooked and resting.

deglaze the pan, if that's possible, put results in a sauce pan, add low heat
add the onion/mushroom/giblet components and allow to reach simmer
add chunks of the roux to establish a basic consistency
add roux/chicken stock to achieve the desired volume & thickness
test taste for salt & pepper

always "think thinner" in the sauce pan, gravy thickens as it cools.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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Easiest turkey gravy I know of - Pour pan drippings from turkey into a sauce pan. Make a slurry of 1 tbs. cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. When drippings are boiling, slowly stir in the slurry until the gravy is thick enough. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Better gravy - Boil turkey necks, livers, and gizzards for 45 minutes in 2 cups water. Strain and set aside the resulting stock. Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of thyme. Remove bird from the oven and pour drippings into the saucepan with the turkey stock. Add cornstarch slurry until it is as thick as you want it.

Alternate, make a roux from equal parts flour and butter. Heat over medium flame in a saucepan until the flour just begins to turn light brown, or blonde. Immediatley start whisking in the turkey broth until the roux goes from paste to gravy. Season with salt and pepper.

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Old 11-23-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
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The day before Thanksgiving I make a big pot of stock for the gravy and stuffing. Take 8-10 pounds of Turkey parts (backs, wings, necks, etc.) and toss them in a pot with a chopped up carrot, onion, celery rib, garlic clove, and sprig of thyme. Add a gallon of water, bring to a simmer, and cover for 3-4 hours.

Strain out and discard the solids, then use a separator to (you guessed it), separate the stock from the fat.

Boil the stock on a back burner to reduce it by 50% (and concentrate it's flavor further).

For the gravy, make a blonde roux with the turkey fat and some flour. Ladle in stock until you have the consistency you desire. Simmer it for 20 minutes or so, then season with salt and pepper.

Then use the remaining stock in the stuffing (along with remaining fat if there is any left).

-----

One of my favorite dishes is turkey gravy over stuffing. I take the whole turkey and break it up into chunks, then make a stock with it. When I strain the stock, I reserve the meat and add it to the finished gravy.

Sooooooo good...
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjcooking View Post
This will be the first year I'm actually cooking my own turkey. There is only 2 of us and I don't want to go to all the trouble of making a complicated gravy, does anybody have any suggestions on how to make a decent gravy that is quick and easy, can I just add flour to the drippings and then whisk in some stock with some herbs????

i made a killer gravy this Thanksgiving(ok so this is late).

From the turkey pan, I took some of the broth with a lot the turkey fat melted in it placed it in skillet with some butter. Got that hot and added my flour to make a nice roux and let it cook a bit to get rid of that "flour" flavor.
I then added the turkey stock from the roasting pan and some milk. Brought it to a boil constantly whisking. It tasted more like turkey than the turkey.. silky smooth.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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thanks for all the ideas, I am going to keep this for next year. Since I'm in the process of moving and I didn't have too many ingredients to work with I kept it as simple as possible. I took your advide in removing the fat from the drippings, using some of that to mix in with the flour, cooked for a minute and then added the drippings back into the roux. I had enough that I didn't need to add any broth. Then seasoned. It came out well, normally I would shoot for more flavor, but for what I had to work with I'm happy with the results.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjcooking View Post
thanks for all the ideas, I am going to keep this for next year. Since I'm in the process of moving and I didn't have too many ingredients to work with I kept it as simple as possible. I took your advide in removing the fat from the drippings, using some of that to mix in with the flour, cooked for a minute and then added the drippings back into the roux. I had enough that I didn't need to add any broth. Then seasoned. It came out well, normally I would shoot for more flavor, but for what I had to work with I'm happy with the results.
More flavor, that's where the stock comes in. I always make stock from the neck and giblets (including the liver). After boiling the turkey parts for 45 minutes ot so, I remove the pot lid and let the liquid reduce by half to concentrate the flavor. Then, I season with salt, and a touch of garlic and black epper. When the bird is complete, I add the drippings to my stock and reseason if required. I seperate the grease out, reserving some for the roux, and thin the roux into gravy with the stock. It always rewards me with a robust flavor. Sometimes, I'll add a bit of rubbed sage to the gravy. If my DW isn't going to be eating it, or if I make two batches, I'll add black pepper to one of them.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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