Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving: Are You a Gravy Snob?

Friday I went over tips for stuffing your turkey, which is a tradition for almost everyone who serves turkey. My mom makes the best gravy, and we always have mash potatoes, gravy, and dressing when we go over there for the holidays. My husband's family tends to go more for dumplings along with mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing and whatever side dishes people bring that year. When I have Thanksgiving dinner just for us and our three kids I tend to go with the potatoes and gravy, and if I do makes dumplings, I use the leftover turkey and gravy the next day for dinner to make them.

So, I wonder, do you make your own gravy? I'm kind of a gravy snob, and I'll admit it. I love homemade gravy and really don't like anything using an envelope, can or jar that is premade. I know many, many people that do, and that's okay. I'm going to share how I make mine, plus give you a recipe from a vintage cookbook. Let's do the cookbook first. I did shorten the instruction somewhat because they were very long.

The Good Housekeeping Cook Book
1944 by J.J. Little and Ives Company
Basic Gravy Recipe

3 tbsp. drippings from chicken or turkey
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups cold water or stock

Remove the poultry to a platter when it's finished roasting. Pour the fat and drippings into a bowl, but don't scrape the pan bottom. Measure 3 tbsp. of the fat back into the pan it was roasted in. Stir in the flour, place the heat on low, and cook until it forms a paste. Stir in the cold water or stock very slowly, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to boil gently until it thickens, then season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot. This makes about 2 cups. For more gravy than 2 cups add 2 tbsp. fat and 2 tbsp. flour to each cup of cold water or stock.

My Gravy Recipe

You'll need:
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Chicken or turkey broth, 2 15 ounce cans

I season my turkey very simply with salt, pepper and a dusting of garlic powder. I pour in about 2 cups of water into the bottom of the roaster, put on the lid, and roast according to the weight instructions. The last half hour I take the lid off, and add another cup or two of water if it's dried out. I remove the turkey to a platter and sit the roaster on the front burner on medium heat. I add the two cans of broth to the pan, and more water. I can't give instructions on the amount of water- I add enough to make enough gravy, but not so much that it waters it down.

In a cup I put about 2 tbsp. of cornstarch and I add about a 1/2 cup cold water. I mix it up well with a fork. By this time the broth in the roaster should be boiling. I slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the pan while it's boiling, and mix it in really well with a whisk as I'm pouring it in. I simmer it and IF it's not thick enough I had the same amount of cornstarch again, using the same method.

I taste to see if it's seasoned well enough, if it needs a little salt, I'll add it, but usually it's fine.

Notes: I know this is not an exact recipe. It's what I've done for years and I've never had lumpy gravy. My gravy isn't thin, but it's not really thick either. I like using the cornstarch SO much better than the flour because if you don't have a lot of stock or drippings it can end up with a flour taste to it. This happens more with ham or beef gravy I've found.

What type of gravy do you prefer?

I have a menu on OFL for an alternative to turkey here:

1 comment:

  1. My gravy is very similiar to yours-always turns out fine! Dressing/stuffing I make similiar to what my mom made. Leftover breads and cornbread, crumbled. A beaten egg, celery and onion sauteed in some butter, broth and evaporated milk. Sage or poultry seasoning to taste! I bake mine rather than stuff the turkey.


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