Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homemade Gravy

One of the things I loved every Thanksgiving growing up was my grandmother's gravy for the turkey. I watched my grandmother make gravy so many times. I learned that the trick for the brown color for her gravy was a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet.

But, here's how I make my gravy...
I take about 2-3 Tbsp. real butter (depends on how much turkey juices you have) and melt them in a cast iron skillet. I sprinkle about 1/4-1/3 cup flour over it. I use a flat (Important!) whisk because it lets you get the flour and butter in the edge. Stir all of the flour into the butter until it is all absorbed by the butter and looks like little balls--it doesn't need to brown. But, all of the flour needs to be mixed into the butter. This makes a roux.

For the liquid: Put a plastic bag into a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup. Pour the turkey juices into the plastic ziploc bag (sometimes I have juices that need to be poured into more than one bag). Let it sit for a few minutes. Then close the top of the bag. Pull the bag out and place the Pyrex in the sink. Make a small (1/4-1/2 inch) snip in one of the bottom corners in the bag. Don't make a snip that would cut through. Just snip it to let the juice out. Let the juices pour into the Pyrex. The fat will have risen to the top when you let it sit. Watch as the juices pour into the Pyrex. As soon as you see the fat about to go through the hole, move the bag over the edge and into the sink.

Making the gravy: With the roux, pour in a little liquid and use the whisk to mix it all in until it is all absorbed.--Pour only a little liquid in at a time. Whisk it all in. Don't rush this step! It's really quite simple, but if you pour it in slowly then you will avoid lumps. Don't try and do anything else while you're doing this part (I have a bad habit of multi-tasking). It won't take long and then you can get back to everything else. Towards the end, if you put too much liquid in at one time, let it boil down and cook a bit. But, stir periodically, so it won't burn on the bottom of the pan. After your gravy is the thickness you want (and not runny) and you've used your liquid up, pour into a gravy boat and serve! If you would like to, you can add some salt and pepper and a few drops of kitchen bouquet at the end, but wait until the end and see if you like the color and the taste first.

Happy Gravy Eating! =)

By the way, if you end up with lumps at the end (put it in a blender =) ) The first few times I practiced making a gravy, I had to do that! But, it still tasted fine and was smooth!

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