Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Forget the roux - "do what your momma do"!!

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and so is anxiety! One of the most common concerns I hear is about making gravy. I have never understood the problem with gravy - mostly because I have always made it like my mother.
Even though I like to think of myself as a fairly sophisticated cook -  I still don't use a roux to make old fashioned gravy. Tradition in our family calls for making every thing the morning of Thanksgiving. Early to rise and the turkey in the oven. Peeling potatoes, and making pies. A wonderful morning in the kitchen watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.

The last item to be made is the gravy and it cannot fail.

Over the years, I have found the foolproof way to make delicious gravy. When using flour as a thickener, it is important to cook the liquid to remove any taste of flour. Having plenty of liquid and allowing it to simmer till thick is the key.

Steps to no fail gravy:

Prepare the turkey. I make sure to lightly butter and oil the outside, put butter inside the cavity along with carrot, celery and onion. Season the turkey. I use a generous amount of salt - gravy needs salt! It helps to have a correctly seasoned turkey to start your drippings. I use fresh ground black pepper. If you prefer, you can use white pepper so it doesn't show on the turkey. I put about a cup of water in the bottom of the pan to insure I have enough liquid for gravy.

Use a rack for your turkey.

After removing the turkey from the pan - pour the drippings into a gravy separator. It only needs to stand a minute or two for the grease to rise to the top. Pour the separated pan drippings back onto the pan and discard fatty liquid. (add broth if you need more drippings)

Use about 1 heaping Tablespoon floor and whisk into 1 cup very cold water - make sure it is thoroughly combined - no lumps.

Slowly heat the drippings and add the flour slurry to the pan and whisk constantly. USE a gravy whisk!  It is my favorite tool for making lump free sauces and gravy. Make sure to loosen all the brown drippings and incorporate them into the gravy. You may add broth to make the desired amount of gravy. Continue to use the whisk until the gravy is thickened. Remember it will thicken slightly as it cools. Taste for seasoning.


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