Fresh or dried herbs (use whatever you used to make your turkey)
3/4 cup or less wine or brandy
Giblets, wing tips, and neck*
2 quarts cold water
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
* If using giblets in your gravy, refer to the instructions below for preparation.
Remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour the poultry
drippings through a sieve into a container. Add 1 cup stock (poultry, meat or vegetable)
to the roasting pan and stir until crusty brown bits are loosened. If you do not
have homemade stock, substitute canned broth, but it is not as good. For example,
if you are making turkey gravy, use chicken broth. Pour the deglazed liquid/stock
into the container with the pan drippings. Let the mixture stand a few minutes until
the fat rises to the top.
Skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings, reserving
3 to 4 tablespoons. Or alternatively, cook about 6 slices of bacon until crisp,
and use the fat from the bacon.
Over medium heat, spoon the reserved fat into a 2-quart or larger saucepan. Using
a whisk only (to prevent lumps), whisk an equal amount of flour into heated fat
and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden. To produce a full flavored
gravy, you must cook the flour in about an equal portion of fat until the flour
has lost its raw taste (as you would a roux). A common problem is using too much
flour, which decreases the flavor.
Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings/stock mixture. Cook and stir until
gravy boils and is slightly thick. Add finely chopped cooked giblets (as below).
Remember the gravy will continue to thicken after it has been removed from the heat.
A good rule is to use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of flour for each cup of liquid
and then give the mixture time to thicken.
If you require more gravy, use a little melted butter and extra warmed poultry
stock to increase the volume of the pan drippings.
For an extra rich gravy, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream. You can also add vegetables
such cooked onion or mushrooms for variety.
Giblets: While the turkey cooks, or the day before, cover giblets,
wing tips and neck bones with water in a large pot. Add onion, celery and parsley.
Simmer for 2 hours. Strain broth and reserve for gravy. Pick meat from neck and
wing tips. Finely chop the giblets and meat.
Add to the gravy after liquid has been blended into the fat-flour mixture as
described in the Perfect Gravy recipe.