A few suggestions, DO NOT USE FLOUR TO THICKEN. I don't care if your talented Grandmother taught you how to thicken gravy with flour at an early age.. It is not so much the many times that it works well, as it is the number of times that you end up with lumpy gravy that has that raw flour taste a smell. If you insist on using flour, make a roux (Equal parts Butter and flour stirred over low heat for a few minutes).
BUT, I prefer a corn starch slurry. Equal parts water and corn starch, whisked together and then added to the drippings. Like the heading says... it just never fails to thicken the gravy with no lumps. It just works and works every time.
Only caution is to go slow, add the slurry, simmer for a few minutes while stirring and then add additional as needed. BUT, be careful to not add too much (I do mine in 2 Tablespoon amounts, not ever adding more than 4 TBS total. Gravy is one of those side dishes that can get gummy and too thick if you don;t watch it. DO the 5 minutes of heating and stirring before deciding to add additional slurry.
Gravy tends to thicken as it sits. So, a little on the thin side when you are deciding if it is done is a good thing.
Yesterday I posted my "World's BEST (and Easiest never Fail) TURKEY". Among the many reasons I like this recipe for success is the large amount of seasoned drippings that come from the bird. I have never needed to stretch the gravy by adding water (Or chicken stock). The sauce is rich in butter, with hints of lemon, garlic, fennel and onion. Bits of savory seasonings are there and are only enhanced with the addition of a bit of Cajun Spices (Optional).
As always, taste along the way. You can add additional salt (Not ever really needed, the drippings are already salted for the bird... But some people like LOTS of salt). Pepper, additional Cajun Spices, bits of mushrooms, jalapenos.... The sky is the limit once a recipe writer adds the phrase... "And feel free to add your own family secret ingredients"!
And one final note about gravy... Should the unthinkable happen and you over cook your bird... Dry as sand, stiff and no hints of moisture...
FEAR NOT! GRAVY to the rescue. Simply thinly pre-slice all of the meat (even the meat on the legs). Just prior to serving, dip each piece into the gravy artificially adding moisture to each piece. The turkey will taste of (of course) turkey with hints of all the ingredients listed above (lemon, garlic, fennel, onion) and will have a coating of moisture, leaving nothing to complain about. If your funny uncle dares to complain that he only wants "real" turkey, just laugh it off, tell him you will be happy to eat at his house next Holiday and serve as you want. you are the cook and you get to say. Never admit a mistake when it is salvageable.
So there uncle Stanley...
And the rest of you...ENJOY!
World's BEST (and Easiest never Fail) TURKEY GRAVY
- Prepare a Turkey, Try using THIS method) Save all of the drippings under the cooked brid.
- For the CORN STARCH SLURRY - 2 TBS Corn Starch
- 2 TBS Water
- Additional Corn Starch and Water As Needed
Cajun Spices (Optional)
Your own family secret ingredients (Optional)
- Once your bird has been cooked to desired temperature (160 degrees at thickest part of the thigh), Save the drippings in the bottom of the pan (Usually about 4-6 Cups). Strain any large bits of the seasoning vegetables (Lemon, Garlic, Onion, Fennel, etc) though a large hole strainer (you want the herbs to slip through).
- Transfer the strained juices to a heavy bottomed frying pan, heat to a simmer over medium high heat.
- While the juices are simmering, make a corn starch slurry.of equal amounts of Corn Starch and water stirred to mix.
- Once the drippings are simmering, add the slurry and the Optional Cajun Spices and family secret ingredients. Whisk while the gravy is simmering for about 5 minutes. You should be able to feel the gravy thicken. If not, repeat with an additional slurry.
- Warning: The gravy will continue to thicken as it sits waiting to be served. Do not use too much slurry (I have never needed to use more than the two additions) or your gravy will become a thick gummy paste.
- Keep warm (but not simmering warm) until ready to serve and ENJOY!
Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!
LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!
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