My gravy is ready. Is yours?

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I offer this gift to harried cooks everywhere. I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s appropriate to do so again. I made about half the amount of the recipe, using three Foster’s turkey legs instead of six. Veggie amounts remain the same for the stock.

Turkey Gravy in Advance

For the stock:
4 TBSP butter (perhaps more)
6 turkey legs or other dark meat parts (about 6 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, peeled, stuck with 3 cloves
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery with leaves, trimmed, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
1 cup water

For gravy:
12 TBSP flour
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375. Melt 4 TBSP butter. Sprinkle turkey parts with salt and pepper, place in roasting pan and brush with melted butter. Roast 2 hours, basing with butter every 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool a bit and remove most of the meat from the bones. Discard skin. RESERVE THE FAT/DRIPPINGS IN THE PAN.

Transfer bones to stockpot, set roasting pan aside. Add onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns to stockpot. Add cold water just to cover. Bring to simmer and cook, mostly covered, about 6 hours.

Place roasting pan on stove and bring juices to a simmer over low heat. Pour in water to deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping. Pour all liquid into a bowl and refrigerate. When liquid is cool, lift of top layer of fat and reserve. Add deglazing liquid to stockpot.

Melt 12 TBSP reserved turkey fat in a skillet over medium heat. Use additional butter, if necessary. Gradually whisk in the flour. Cook until golden brown and toasty smelling, 3-5 minutes or longer (usually longer, as a good roux takes time). Take care to stir continually so the roux doesn’t scorch.

Whisk in a small amount of stock, then add remainder more quickly and whisk until smooth. Simmer, continually whisking, until thickened. Thin if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and a couple of teaspoons or so of a quality fresh poultry seasoning (such as Penzey’s). If desired, whisk in a few tablespoons cold butter to smooth and enrich.

Yields 3 quarts. Can be frozen for up to a month.

If you have any make-in-advance ideas, please contribute. Cheers!

I bow to you, Gravy King. Also, I think I love you.

In my family, I am known as the Gravy Queen. But I have never done such extensive prep work as you describe above. At home with best conditions, I roast the whole turkey a day ahead and have ample time to let the fat separate from the drippings. I also simmer the neck and bag-'o-innards with celery, onion and carrots for my additional liquid. Then it’s turkey fat and flour, cook until toasty, add drippings and simmered liquid and enjoy the lovely result. Salt and pepper are occasionally necessary, but I stand proud that my turkey gravy is pretty much created from the given bird.

It is hell on earth when my brother hosts Thanksgiving and I have to make gravy on the spot from a pan of juice fresh and hot from the oven, Wondra flour and no butter for miles – only some “lite” margarine. Said brother has the nerve to not only offer me the help of a product called Gravy Master, but to additionally stock up on canned gravy in case I can’t quite pull it together. Fuck him.

I am pleased to meet someone as passionate and proud about turkey gravy as I am. Again, I love you.

Good Lord.

That is a good thing.
I too am impressed. How many folks do you cook for?
I just make a whatchamacallit with flour and olive oil and stir in giblets and broth.

If everyone you’re serving is okay with pork products, I recommend adding in some ham. You need a piece that’s got some fat. It makes the gravy more complex and a bit more meaty, without overpowering the poultry flavor.

I don’t know exactly where in the make-ahead process it would fit in; we make our gravy on Thanksgiving using the turkey and ham drippings while the meats are resting. You could roast the piece of ham with the turkey bits, or you could simmer it in the stock. Or both. However you do it, you’ll like the finished flavor.

Proudest Monkey, I thought Wondra flour was designed for gravy and other products that need a smooth flour. Isn’t it a good thing?

I always make giblet gravy on T-day. There’s just no substitute. But this recipe is good if you’re going to be feeding a large crowd: just mix it in with the T-day gravy, and Bob’s yer uncle. I may have mentioned before that gravy is traditionally classified as a beverage in my family.

About Wondra: It’s not a bad product, but it’s generally unnecessary if you’ve prepared things properly. If you have to add flour to gravy that’s already had liquid added to it, you’re probably in enough trouble without compounding it. Uncooked flour just tastes like flour.

You do know that gravy is a beverage, don’t you?

Last time I hosted Thanksgiving, I couldn’t find the gravy boat. So I used the teapot.

Excellent gravy recipe. It’s the same technique all right-thinking* people use this time of year. I like the idea of making it ahead, too.

Well done.

(right, not Right)

I made turkey broth yesterday from a turkey carcass I had left over and frozen the last time I roasted a bird. Now I have about 2 quarts of broth in the fridge and 2 quarts in the freezer, but I don’t have any pan drippings to make the gravy with. Any ideas on how to make a gravy without the drippings?

Walkabout, Have you skimmed the fat off the broth already? If you haven’t thrown it away, it will help replace some of the drippings, along with butter, schmaltz, bacon fat, or oil.

As Leiko said; otherwise, go buy you a package of turkey drumsticks and roast them up. Use the leftover meat for turkey curry or whatever.

I haven’t skimmed the fat from the broth, but there’s not much there, so I’ll have to find an alternate source. I was thinking about getting some chicken thighs and roasting them for dinner one evening. The drippings from that supplemented by some bacon drippings I have saved from the weekend might do it, right?

I don’t know about bacon drippings. Aren’t they a little strong in flavor? I always use butter when I don’t have enough fat. It makes a nice roux without an overpowering taste.

Cowgirl speaks truth. Bacon fat is going to be very smokey, which may not be what you’re looking for. Chicken thighs would work fine.

I will admit that I suggested bacon fat as a continuation of my earlier “add ham to the gravy you will thank yourself.” I think turkey gets along with smokey salty flavors. And adding just a little bacon fat to the butter won’t be overpoweringly smokey, just add a subtle suggestion of delicious.

YMMV, especially if you’re using storebought bacon. I generally have farm bacon on hand, since my uncle raises hogs, and the people who do cut, cure, and wrap don’t smoke it that heavily.

You’re right. I’ve read recipes that call for rubbing the turkey skin with bacon fat, and turkey club sandwiches are da bomb.

I already got mine from the bums on Monk.

I picture Chefguy as that guy from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the boat getting chopped up in Venice:

My gravy’s prepared. How’s yours?

I’ve roasted the turkey legs and they’re cooling right now. I’ll deglaze the pan tonight and make the stock and finish the gravy tomorrow.

One question, Chefguy: By ‘discard skin,’ did you mean ‘pick off and nosh on the tasty, crispy skin?’ Because if so, I’m doing it perfectly so far.

Yeah, I thought that was a stupid direction in the recipe, as I munched it down as well. One man’s ‘discard’ is another man’s ‘snack’.