Turkey Gravy - How to Make Perfect Gravy

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 Think of gravy as the ultimate accessory. It will take any dish you make, and give it the perfect, crowning touch. Of course when serving gravy with turkey, it can do even more. There seems to be an unspoken rule for turkey that gravy is simply required. If by chance your bird didn't come out perfectly, all will be forgiven if the gravy is wonderful. It can take a plain Jane bird and turn it into a rockstar dish.

As a Southerner, I grew up with gravy all over the place. I've long understood the power of gravy, and I was blessed with a mama and granny who could make fabulous gravies of all kinds. Turkey gravy is no different from almost any other kind - you simply take the lovely stuff from the bottom of a roasting pan, get rid of the grease, make a little roux and add liquid. There are seriously only four steps.

Now with that said, there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to make sure that the gravy you get is rich and silky instead of lumpy, pasty or the wrong consistency. But they're simple tricks.

  1. Make sure that you remove the grease from the pan drippings - you'll need some to make the gravy, but probably not all of it by any means. If you remove as much as possible, then you'll be able to determine exactly how much you'd like to add back.  This takes care of the greasy issues.
  2. When adding flour, make sure that you really whisk it in well at the beginning. If you have lumps when making the roux, you'll have lumps in the gravy.
  3. There are two main flavor components to the gravy - the pan drippings, and the stock. Although commercial stock is all right in a pinch, if you can use homemade it'll be fabulous. The stock is critical because there is so much of it in the gravy.
  4. One tablespoon of flour will work with one tablespoon of fat to thicken one cup of liquid. This formula will make sure that your gravy isn't too thick or too thin. If you want a slightly thicker gravy, use a tablespoon and a half of flour. It's also easier to think gravy than to thicken it after it's too thin, but even thickening it isn't that hard.
  5. To thicken gravy, you can make a slurry. Mix a tablespoon of flour with a quarter cup of cold liquid. Mix well, and whisk into the gravy. Bring to a simmer and allow it to simmer for at least one minute. You can also allow the gravy to reduce to the desired consistency if you wish, although this takes longer.
  6. And at the end, if you end up with lumps - just strain it! That takes care of a myriad of problems and no one will know your secret.

 

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See it step by step!

The Method!

This is certainly a method instead of a recipe, since the proportions work in any combination. It will halve or double with ease - so simply adjust to make the amount you need.

You'll need:

  • The drippings from a roast turkey
  • 6 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4-6 cups turkey stock, or chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Take the roasting pan and drain off as much of the grease as possible, with a spoon or a turkey baster.
  2. Either place the roasting pan on the stove top, or scrape as much of the drippings as possible into a large skillet or saucier. If you have lots of lovely brown bits simply stuck to the roasting pan stick with that - that's flavor and you don't want to lose it.
  3. Measure back four tablespoons of the grease into the pan, and turn the pan to medium heat. Whisk the flour into the fat, making sure that you've whisked out all the lumps. You really want the roux to be smooth at this point.
  4. Slowly add half the stock to the pan, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to come up to a simmer. It will most likely be very thick at this point. Simply add in enough additional stock to bring it to the consistency you like. It will be fully thickened at each addition after it simmers for a minute.
  5. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding kosher salt and pepper if need be.
  6. Serve immediately - that's all there is to it!

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Comments 5 comments

Linda Johnston profile image

Linda Johnston 6 years ago

Wow! Thanks for all the great info.


Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 6 years ago from Southern Ca.

Hi -- the LA Times Food section this past week provided a recipe and did a step by step working method on how to Barbecue a Turkey (under 16 pounds). It looked like a wonderful challenge and a unique way to prepare the bird. The picture of the end result made you want to eat the paper. It was in Tueday November 16 issue. David Russell


Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 6 years ago from Southern Ca.

Hi -- the LA Times Food section this past week provided a recipe and did a step by step working method on how to Barbecue a Turkey (under 16 pounds). It looked like a wonderful challenge and a unique way to prepare the bird. The picture of the end result made you want to eat the paper. It was in Tueday November 16 issue. David Russell


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great directions and advice on making gravy...My southern mother and grandmother were masters at gravy-making as well. :)


DixieMockingbird profile image

DixieMockingbird 5 years ago from East Tennessee Author

Thank you! It appears I'm in good company then!

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