Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 21, 2012 06:19 PM

Adding flavor to turkey gravy

Requesting help - I just made a gravy by roasting two extra turkey wings - we love extra dark meat, and I loved the idea of making the gravy a day ahead. So, I roasted the wings on a "rack" of carrots, celery and onion chunks. Removed meat and veggies, made a roux from the drippings/fat in the pan. Cooked the roux to what I *thought* was a deep golden brown, and began adding stock (made from the backbone of my spatchcocked bird, plus the neck and aromatics).

I wound up with a beautiful beige gravy - smooth, lovely, and fairly tasty, although it is really missing that POW of flavor. I think it might be because I didn't cook the stock long might be a little insipid.

SOOOOOOO....can I make this serviceable gravy into a "star" gravy? If so, how?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Add the drippings from the roasted bird and you'll be good to go. (Leave the fat behind.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Yes! Make sure that you de-glaze your roasting pan the. You will get a beautiful color and a deep concentrated Turkey flavor.
      Advice for next time Chop the Neck into sections along with the Wing Tips, Nubbins and any other misc. parts you have (I buy at least a extra pack of Necks) along with a coarse Mirepoix and roast in a heavy roasting pan(not on a rack) till quite dark, De-glaze and use as the base for your stock which should simmer for 4 hours or more.

      1. re: pikawicca

        When I roast the bird tomorrow, I should add the de-fatted drippings to today's gravy - can do. I had sort of hoped to use the whole roasting thing tomorrow to make another batch of gravy, but I must rescue this first batch!

        1. re: pikawicca

          Yes, I agree with this. WHen I have done gravy in advance it was lacking something until I dumped it into the roasting pan and incorporated the drippings - huge difference!

        2. 2 things: 1) roast a bunch of shallot to a deep golden brown, then puree them and stir them into your gravy, 2) Add a few splashes of soy sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TorontoJo

            Great ideas - thanks. Have shallots, have soy, will try!

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              To correct a completed gravy? Fresh thyme, no added cooking? Splash of cognac might work, but I'm worried that it would be harsh and raw tasting. Details, please!

              1. re: saticoy

                Sorry, not to correct a gravy, those are what I use to flavor my gravy. Supposed you could reduce some vermouth, or wine, steep some fresh thyme in it, then add that to the gravy. Or steep the thyme in some cream.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Ahhhhh.....MSG......perhaps, perhaps.....and I can boost the salt, but am afraid that might be just salty...

                1. re: saticoy

                  The roasted shallots and soy give both salt and umami! Go easy on the soy and taste as you add a bit at a time.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Thanks, TJ - been reading your spatchcocking posts! Will go this route for what may be my only batch of gravy in light of my first and hopefully only thanksgiving disaster....while continuing to cook my stock to intensity, had a miscommunication with the hubs, and this rich, glorious stock sat out on the stove all night. Bye bye. Trying to decide if I am going to make a small batch from the roasted wing tips, scoot out for another pack of wings, or use the emergency box of stock. Sigh.

                    1. re: saticoy

                      You have enough to do, the box of stock you have will be fine.

                      Next year, I'm going to do my stock on Monday and get that out of the way sooner. Some do it even earlier and freeze it.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  +1 A dash of MSG or a dash of some stock powder that contains MSG. Plus a tiny droplet of Kitchen Bouquet.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    If you use MSG (in anything, not just gravy), PLEASE make sure none of your guests are allergic to it. The reaction can be quite severe in some people.

                  2. A really good gravy needs long cooked turkey producing drippings. There is no substitute. Make ahead gravy with long cooked stock is ok, but never the equal of gravy with drippings. And gravy needs a fair amount of salt and pepper.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: magiesmom

                      I roasted the wings for almost two hours - to temp. Got some nice drippings, nice fond. I think my stock might be lacking. Funny - my husband put a spoon in and tasted....thought about it....put another spoon in and before he tasted, added an enormous amount of black pepper to the spoon. He said that helped a lot, so definitely going to boost the pepper tomorrow.

                      1. re: saticoy

                        Personally I think you need more than wings for great turkey stock. I use two legs, as many necks as I can get, and a few wings. Roast for an hour, cook stock for 5-6.