A good turkey gravy is integral to a successful Thanksgiving dinner, but making your own can seem a little intimidating. Luckily, gravy is one of the easiest to prepare items on your Turkey Day menu; you just need a bit of patience (and flour).
Gravy, in its simplest form, is just broth or stock that’s been thickened, usually by a roux. Because “roux” is a French word, a lot of people assume it will be difficult to make, but it’s really just flour cooked in fat, in this case turkey fat. To make a very simple and satisfying turkey gravy, you will need:
- 1 cup white wine or sherry for deglazing
- About 1/4 cup of fat, preferably from your roasted turkey but you can also use butter
- About 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- The drippings and deglazed browned bits from the turkey pan
- 1-2 cups of broth or stock
- Salt and pepper
- A couple teaspoons of fresh herbs such as sage, thyme, or rosemary (optional)
Once your big bird is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside to rest. Set the pan over medium-high heat, and deglaze it with your wine or sherry, scraping up all the wonderful browned bits with a wooden spoon. Pour the liquid from the pan into a fat separator, then pop it into the freezer to chill for about 2o minutes. Once the fat is separated, scrape it off the top and weigh it. Measure out the same amount of flour by weight.
Heat the fat over medium heat until hot, then add the flour and cook it until you have a tan, nutty-smelling, bubbling paste. Add the deglazed pan drippings and whisk it all together. Whisk in the stock, half a cup at a time, until your gravy reaches the consistency you desire, keeping in mind that it will thicken a bit as it cools. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add in any fresh herbs you like. Serve with turkey (obviously).