Help with turkey gravy
On the good advice from a poster on this board, last year I made turkey stock to use for gravy and it was better than prefab stuff but still only OK.
This year, I roasted the veggies (carrots, onion and celery) as well as some turkey necks, giblets, thighs, wings and drumsticks. I dumped it all in a pot and covered with cold water. It has been simmering for 8 hours now and it has reduced to a dark rich turkey stock.
The question, besides adding pan drippings, should I do anythng else while making it into a gravy. What have been your best methods for thickening.
My flour slurry was high maintenance last year and I think it "de" intensified the turkey flavour.
Now I have 5 liters of strained stock that is going into the freezer, half for Cdn Thanksgiving and half for US Thanksgiving.
Use the fat from the pan drippings to cook the flour for several minutes, until the raw smell is gone then whisk in the stock. The fat adds a huge amount of flavor to the gravy.
Here's what I do ... and I only know from watching the limited cooking done in my home growing up....(Aside: my sister LOVES the NYtimes turkey gravy/stock thing from about 2 years ago which uses like 2 or 3 pounds of roasted turkey parts) ..my little humble family still loves my turkey gravy so here's my method: I take my turkey and remove that little packet of giblets/innards/neck...cook those up in water with celery leaves and coarsely chopped onion...then chop the cooked giblets/innards and NECK as finely as I can. When the bird is done roasting in the oven, I remove it and let it rest....the drippings in the roasting pan are then separated in a measuring cup and I brown some *flour*(that's my thickening to answer your question) in the roasting pan with the fat to make a roux...then I add the broth from the innards/ neck stuff and let it thicken...then I add the roasted drippings that have been skimmed as much as possible. I also add the chopped cooked innards/neck meat. Now, *sometimes* I will add some jarred turkey gravy depending on whom is eating...my #1 son is a VERY BIG guy with a very big appetite...so sometimes I do need to S-T-R-E-T-C-H the turkey gravy.
I do the lazy method. I lay the roasting pan, after removing the turkey, across two burners. Pour out a little fat, if neccesary but rarely need to do it. Add flour and stir. Add some wine or liquor to deglaze. Add warm stock until thickened. No extra pot and you get all the stuck on drippings in the gravy.
If you made a slurry as a separate component that would be high maintenance.
Cook the flour in half a cup of hot broth or drippings and whisk whisk whisk it until it incorporates and pulls away from the pan. Then add your stock whisking like crazy. Add stock until you like the consistency and you're good to go. This works for every kind of gravy. As the other posters have said, cooking the flour is the key.
I do my broth a bit lazier. I too roast every thing in a big roasting pan. When browned I add the herbs and deglaze the pan with wine, then fill the pan 3/4 full with water. Put the lid on and everything back into the oven at 400 for about 30 min. Then drop the temp to 225 and let cook all night until the bones are soft a la AB (the soft bones part not the do it all in the oven part). It comes out so intensely turkey (or chickeny) that I thin it for soup but its perfect for sauces and gravy.
To thicken I use cornstarch mixed with boxed free range chicken stock because it has the most flavor and doesn't gel like my stock when cooled. Also I ad some of the pan drippings but I don't make the gravy in the pan because the carcass goes back in the oven for more roasted stock.