Turkey Stock for Great Turkey Gravy
O.K. lets start with my Rant! Every year all the TV chefs start with all the fancy sides and different ways to cook turkeys trying to make you feel inadequate about your Thanksgiving menu. They probably get a whole bunch of people trying different and sometimes much harder than it seems recipes to serve .
Rule #1 never try to cook a new item for the first time on Thanksgiving day! You want to try something new, write the recipe down now and try it out a few times over the next year to see how difficult it is, how much TIME and oven or stove top space it takes, and whether or not your family actually enjoys it. If it’s a success than do it NEXT YEAR!
I look at a turkey as just a over-sized chicken that just takes a little longer to cook, needs a little bit of basting and perhaps a cover over the breast if it gets too brown, you can add a mirepoix to the bottom of the pan and with a little water,stock or wine baste the turkey and you’ll get a good start for a gravy. Its just that it usually does not create enough stock for all the gravy you will need.
The answer is to create more stock by using the bag of giblets that comes with the turkey . The great thing about this is you can make the stock days in advance and refrigerate or freeze until you need to use it.
Ingredients for Turkey Stock
- Bag of giblets defrosted
- 2 carrots cleaned and diced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 stalks of celery with tops thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsps each salt & pepper
Directions for Turkey Stock
Cut the neck into 2 or three pieces and take the giblets and place into a large pan or stock pot with a scant Tbs of butter on medium high heat, and saute until just beginning to lightly brown, add the vegetables and continue to cook until the giblets are nicley brown and the vegetables are wilted. Add the wine deglaze the pan if necessary and cook until the wine is thick and syrupy. Now add the water and bring the mixture up to a boil and once boiling reduce heat to a simmer cover with the lid just slightly ajar to allow some reduction of the liquid and simmer for one to two hours and the liquid and reduced by about ¼.
Strain the liquid and remove any excess fat from the top.
Making the Gravy
On Thanksgiving day bring the stock up to medium heat, now take the juices from the turkey pan, strain and remove most of the fat and add to your prepared stock. For every cup of stock you have use about 1½ Tbs of fat and flour cooked lightly until completely mixed and the raw flour taste is gone. This will make a slightly thin gravy if you want a thicker gravy use a ratio of 2 Tbs each to every cup of stock. I usually go with the 1½ ratio and have some extra butter and flour microwaved and combined on the side if I need to thicken it a bit more.. You can also use heavy cream in place of the butter which will make a great rich gravy that is much lighter in color. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if necessary.
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Don’t forget to strain the heart, liver and gizzard and serve as an appetizer to you 4 legged kiddies, then pile on the turkey.