Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wintry Day and Gravy To Boot

A little dusting of snow around this morning in the Northern burbs of Atlanta though the temp is just slightly north of freezing and a lot of gusty wind. Should be clearing by the afternoon but it makes a great day for staying inside and getting all the prep done for the "foodalypse" or "turkeylypse" or whatever.

Going to get the cornbread baked for the dressing and all the onions and celery chopped and chilled. Get the pie crusts done and the dough for the rolls made up and in the fridge. While it will save me time tomorrow it actually makes for a better bread if the dough ferments slowly overnight which produces a much fuller flavor. Not much else to do ahead but it will make throwing the dinner tomorrow much less hectic. Oh, and I'll make the broth for the gravy today as well. You can make gravy with just boxed broth but making your own broth with a mirepoix and a foundation of boxed broth makes for a much better product. I'll share my method below.

Minimonk has cancelled and decided just to stay home and chill but it doesn't change the plan but it does mean more leftovers(and more pumpkin pie for me).
Everybody have a safe holiday and enjoy your time off. If you are traveling on the East coast be careful. If you are flying...woe is you.

For all you folks a little wary of making your own gravy and resort to the packets or jars give the following a try and you won't go back. Good gravy can save the day and this gravy is not restricted to just turkey. Yeah, it takes a bit of work but you can do the stock days ahead and even freeze it weeks ahead. The final assembly takes just minutes. Try it, you'll like it.

Classic Herbed Gravy

You'll need:

For the stock:
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 stalks of celery chopped into 1/4 inch dice
    2 carrots chopped into 1/4 inch dice
    1 onion, coarsely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    4 cups water
    4 cups low sodium chicken broth
    1 bay leaf
    2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
For the final gravy:
    3 tablespoons  unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon each finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage (you can use a tablespoon of dried poulty seasoning here)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter for the final finish
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    salt and pepper to taste
Make the stock:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat and add celery, carrots, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, bay leaf and peppercorns and bring to a boil.
Simmer uncovered, until reduced to 6 cups, about 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve and skin off any excess fat. Set aside. You can do this a day or two ahead or freeze for weeks. You'll just have to warm it before final assembly.

For the gravy:
Heat the 3 TBLSP butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat, When the butter begins to foam whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 4-5  minutes. Add the fresh herbs and then whisk in the hot stock in a slow stream whisking constantly, until smooth. Simmer until thickened and reduced to about 4 1/2 cups, maybe 20 minutes but maybe longer...don't worry it will thicken when it boils. Finish by stirring in the final two tablespoons of butter. Adjust the seasoning. This is the last minute part but you can do it while the turkey is resting, just make sure to keep it warm.

Note: If you want to use turkey fat from your roasting pan instead of the butter for the gravy part go right ahead and the same applies for any roasting juice instead of the stock. Just make sure all of the fat is separated from the roasting juice and add your stock to the juices to make the 6 cups you need for the gravy. That is all.

1 comment:

fallenmonk said...

I should add that if you want vegetarian gravy just use all water.