So, a few days ago, we had pictures of this lovely turkey straight out of the oven.
But what you couldn’t see were all the juices and broth lurking in the bottom of the pan.
Lovely juices that will become delicious gravy!
The method for making gravy is the same whether you’re dealing with roast turkey, roast chicken, roast beef, or sausage for biscuits and gravy.
You need liquid or broth, some sort of fat – either from the drippings or from added butter, some sort of thickening like flour, and seasonings.
Turkey broth and pan drippings will have a lot of fat from the roasting process. In fact, more fat than we will need.
It will make life easier if you have a gravy separator like this:
This works in a couple of ways — by straining out any large pieces through the top gray part and also by allowing the fat to separate (rise) so that the cooking broth can be poured away from the fat. Notice that the spout goes to the bottom of the pitcher. That way when you pour off the cooking broth, it pours clear broth from the bottom of the separator while the fat stays on top of the liquids. Pretty smart.
You’ll notice that I still have a few wayward bits of turkey in my broth in the photo above. If you want really smooth gravy, it’s a good idea to strain the broth again through a finer mesh strainer to catch those little bits.
However, don’t panic if you don’t have this broth separating gadget. You can always use a large bowl or measuring cup.
Allow the broth to cool so that the fat rises and separates from the broth. If you have time to put this into the refrigerator, this will make the separation even cleaner and faster. Simply skim off the top layer of fat leaving the clearer broth below.
To begin the gravy, add some of the fat skimmed off to a large pan. Add an equal amount of flour to the pan to make a thickener or roux.
I didn’t actually measure, but if I had to guess, I would say that I have about 1/4 cup of fat from the pan drippings and 1/4 cup of flour.
Whisk the flour and the fat together until it is thick and smooth.
If you want even extra flavor, you should consider adding a little white wine, sherry or Marsala wine to the roux. Again, about 1/4 cup.
I know it sounds weird to add Marsala which is mostly used in Italian cooking to Thanksgiving Gravy, but trust me on this one. It adds beautiful color and a depth of flavor that is really, really good.
Now add the strained turkey broth to the pan and whisk continuously.
As the gravy bubbles it will continue to thicken. Go ahead and add more broth and keep stirring.
If your gravy is too thick, add a little more broth. If for some reason your gravy is too thin, turn up the heat so that the gravy comes to a low bubble. Whenever you’re thickening with flour, you won’t know how thick it is really going to get unless it comes to a low simmer or gentle boil.
If your gravy is still too thin, don’t despair. Simply spoon some of the hot gravy out of the pan into a small cup. Add flour to that small amount of liquid to make what is called a slurry. Then you can add the thickened slurry to the pan of gravy and smoothly whisk it in. If you just dump flour directly into the gravy it will be lump city.
If you do get a few lumps, don’t panic. You can strain the gravy before you serve it and no one will ever know.
When you’ve reached a good gravy thickness, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Find the gravy boat that looks like your Grandma’s that you bought on eBay (yes, I did) and serve it up!
You’re now a bonafide gravy master!