The condiment of all condiments — Thanksgiving gravy. If you’re anything like me, this deliciously savory sauce is for so much more than just the turkey and mashed potatoes. Every single thing on my Thanksgiving plate tends to get an enormously generous slathering of gravy, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
But perfecting the art of Thanksgiving gravy can be a tricky task. The road is full of many potential pitfalls — drippy and runny consistency, starchy lumps, lack of flavor. We’ve all experienced these little turkey travesties and they’re heartbreaking. Gravy should be nothing short of velvety smooth, rich and savory, packed-with-flavor perfection. So let’s learn how to make that happen.
- For some reason, people are intimidated by making a roux. This is arguably the most flavorful and most effective way to thicken a sauce or soup, and when you have it down, it’s an absolute breeze to make. The trick to getting it right every time is to use equal parts butter and flour, and to make sure the butter is completely melted before adding in the flour. The longer you cook a roux, the more flavorful it will become, just be careful not to take it too far or it may become bitter.
- Of course, the final flavor of your gravy will mostly depend on the flavors you’ve incorporated into your turkey. If you’ve used a lot of herbs and citrus, those will transfer beautifully to your gravy, so be sure to flavor your bird!
- Acid is your friend when it comes to gravy. There’s a reason citrus is one of the most commonly used ingredients when roasting poultry. It’s delicious. Be generous in adding lemon (or even grapefruit or orange) juice to your gravy for an added zip of flavor.
- Your roux should give you a velvety smooth gravy, but if for some reason you end up with lumps, worry not. You can simply strain your gravy through a fine mesh sieve and no one will be the wiser.
This Thanksgiving gravy recipe is delicious as is, but it also creates a perfect base for any additional flavors you want to incorporate. If your gravy could use a bit more flavor, simply look to what you used to season the turkey. Adding in the same herbs and other ingredients will help your gravy shine.
- Drippings from your roasted turkey
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
- Juice from one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour turkey drippings into a large measuring cup and set aside. When the fat rises to the top, spoon off most of the fat and discard. Add enough stock to the measuring cup to equal 4 cups of the stock/drippings combination.
- If the roasting pan you used for the turkey will fit on your stovetop, go ahead and place it directly on the stove. If not, scrape all of the leftover brown bits into a large saucepan and place that onto the stove instead.
- Melt butter in roasting pan or pot and add flour, stirring until a thick paste (roux) has formed. Cook the roux until it has browned.
- Into the roux, add the drippings/stock mixture and whisk until well combined and thickened.
- Bring gravy to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer, cooking until the gravy has reached your desired consistency.
- While the gravy is simmering, add Worcestershire sauce, lemon, salt, and pepper.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
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