The deeply browned and greasy scrapings from the bottom of the roasting pan might not look like much when you first take the turkey out of the oven. But those drippings are Thanksgiving manna.
Lets make some gravy.
There are diverse and wonderful ways to make gravy. You can make it with giblets or you can make it with only broth. You can even make it ahead of time to save yourself kitchen frenzy on Thanksgiving.
My favorite is a plain, old-fashioned gravy from the pan drippings made just seconds before setting all the food on the table. This deeply flavorful gravy enhances everything on the plate with a touch of savory goodness.
Its also one of the easiest gravies to make, in my opinion. From roux to table, it takes about five minutes and requires only a pan and a whisk. Thats something we can handle even after a long day of cooking when the promise of dinner is only moments away.
AFTER you remove the turkey from the oven and set it aside to rest, set the empty roasting pan over medium-high heat. You may need to span two burners. When the pan drippings are hot and sputtering, pour in a cup of broth and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
POUR the pan drippings into a measuring cup and place in the refrigerator or freezer, wherever there is space. In the 30 minutes it takes for the turkey to rest before carving, the fat and drippings will separate and the fat will begin to harden. You should end up with about a cup of pan drippings and 1/4 cup of fat. If you have less, make up the difference with broth and oil, respectively. If you have more, discard a little of the fat and use less broth. If you have a lot more, you can double the recipe.
SKIM the fat from the top of the pan drippings (or use a fat separator) and warm it in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, whisk in the flour to form a thin paste. Let this cook for a few minutes until bubbly.
POUR in the pan drippings and whisk to combine with the roux. This will form a thick, gloppy paste. Finish by whisking in 1/2 cup of broth. Add more broth for a thinner gravy or let the gravy cook a few minutes for a thicker gravy. Taste and add salt, pepper, and any extras to taste.
• For a very smooth gravy, strain the pan drippings before adding to the gravy.
• Gravy can be kept refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months. Reheat gently over low heat while whisking occasionally to prevent the sauce from breaking or separating.Yield: about 2 cups.
Emma Christensen is recipe editor for TheKitchn.com, a website for food and home cooking.