Turkey gravy is indeed traditional, not only for Thanksgiving, but whenever turkey is served. This recipe produces the best we ever made and can be adapted in many ways.
- neck and giblets from 1 turkey
- 1 onion; quartered
- 1 carrot; cut in pieces
- 1 celery stalk; cut in pieces
- a few whole peppercorns
- 4 Cups water
- drippings from roasted turkey
- butter; (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1/2 Cup whipping cream; (optional)
- salt, to taste
- freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Place turkey neck and giblets (except liver, which clouds broth) in 2-quart saucepan with onion, carrot, celery and several crushed peppercorns. Add water and bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain and reserve stock. Discard neck. Chop giblets, cover and refrigerate. (Canned chicken broth may be substituted for homemade turkey broth.)
- After turkey is roasted, skim surface fat from turkey drippings in roasting pan. Add 1 Cup reserved stock. Place pan over medium heat and scrape browned particles from bottom with wooden spoon. Pour mixture into measuring Cup and let fat rise to top. Skim fat off with spoon or use specially designed measuring Cup that allows drippings to flow from bottom of Cup. Reserve drippings and 1/4 Cup fat and discard remaining fat.
- Place reserved turkey fat in saucepan or back in roaster. (If necessary, add butter if there's not enough fat.) Make roux by mixing flour into fat and cooking, stirring constantly, until bubbly. (Flour may also be added as slurry. Place flour in small bowl or measuring Cup and, while constantly stirring, gradually add enough water to get smooth texture.) Remove from heat, still stirring until bubbling stops. Add 2 Cups reserved turkey stock and stir vigorously to combine. Return pan to heat and gradually pour skimmed drippings, through sieve if desired, into roasting pan, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Cook, stirring, until gravy boils and thickens.
- For thinner gravy, add more broth. If desired, stir in 2 tablespoons butter or, to make cream gravy, 1/2 Cup whipping cream. Stir in chopped giblets if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Each 1 tablespoon serving, without butter or cream: 20 calories; 67 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.05 gram fiber
To adapt this recipe, we have added sage leaves (fresh), or tarragon; minced apple; finely chopped and sauteed onion; sauteed sliced mushooms; added 1/4 cup sherry or madeira; sauteed finely chopped pear; among other unique variations and combinations. Always delicious.