Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
This make-ahead turkey gravy frees up valuable kitchen time for Thanksgiving, plus it will look and taste even better than those frantic, last-minute versions.
The biggest myth in all of American cookery is the belief that a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey is difficult for the novice cook to achieve. One of the secrets to a moist, delicious, and beautiful turkey is spreading butter under the skin. You can season the butter any way you want; the possibilities are endless.
Mushroom sauce can be done with any type of stock, but I used beef stock here since I'm going to be serving with meatloaf.
First word: Wow! We can have gravy in the freezer for everyday cooking all year now! But I must say I was astonished that CJ tells us to throw away veggies - and the meat? Having been raised by parents who grew up in the depression, I couldn't do that of course. So I followed the recipe, but changed the method a bit. First, I sliced the onion in very thin half-slices and a finer slice of carrots and diced celery. My store had 3 large wings per pack, which I thought was perfect. Roasted in cast-iron skillet for the full hour, flipping wings once. Then into my old standard-size crock pot; filled w. water + 1 small can chicken broth, 3 big pinches dried thyme (1 per wing) and 3 large cloves garlic minced fine. Set on low, covered, all night, about 12 hrs. total. Let cool awhile, removed skin, fatty bits and bones, and had a platter of tender meat for an easy start to dinner or to save for post-holiday soup. There was so little fat floating on top that I didn't bother to skim. Just pureed broth/veggies in blender
I'm going to rate Chef John's recipe because it is virtually what I have done every year for many years other than also roast the neck with all the veggies too before simmering them for hours. I agree that two wings would not seem to add enough flavor. I save about 2 cups of my turkey stock for basting my turkey in the oven on the big day and make my gravy a bit thicker so I can pour some the pan drippings into it and into my dressing before placing that dish in the oven. No one would guess my dressing is not cooked in the bird! I don't mind a bit having my gravy done ahead of time, either. Great time saver when you really need it in the last hour trying to get this 'labor of love' meal on the table!!
THIS RECIPE IS THE BEST! I HATE MAKING TURKEY GRAVY BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE AND IT TAKES SO LONG AND I USUALLY END UP HAVING JAR GRAVY OR POWDER ON HAND THAT HAVE NO TASTE. THIS WAS SO TASTY, EASY TO MAKE AND IT THICKENS UP AFTER REFRIGERATING. I REALLY LIKE THE IDEA OF USING ALL FRESH VEGGIES AND REAL TURKEY FLAVORING. I LOVED IT!! THANK YOU FOR THE RECIPE - I WILL BE USING THIS ALL THE TIME!!
This is such a delicious recipe. I made it and froze it for Thanksgiving. I roasted a small turkey to make the gravy and stock. Used the meat for chili and soup. This takes all the stress out of making gravy on a day when you are busy all day at the stove.