If there is one thing that took me years to figure out how to make when it comes to turkey dinners, it was never how to perfect the actual turkey or the mashed potatoes. No, it was the gravy. Every time I tried to make gravy, it turned out lumpy or too thin, and I could never seem to get it right on a consistent basis. Years later I found some wonderful tips by Jamie Oliver, and now won’t make gravy any other way!
About 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white wine, apple cider, or try beer even! You could even use a good glug of port or sherry. A friend of mine swears that adding port to gravy makes it heavenly.
3/12 cups of good chicken stock (check for low sodium versions)
Veggies and drippings from your turkey or roasted chicken
About 2 tbsp flour
When you roast the turkey or chicken, don’t just throw it into a naked pan. Create a great ‘nest’ to keep it off the bottom and poaching in its own juices by coarsely chopping up some onions, lemon, carrots, celery, unpeeled garlic cloves, and some sprigs of rosemary, thyme, or sage. These also add a lot of flavor to your gravy as they cook. I like to add a little chicken stock to the bottom of the pan as well.
Once the bird is cooked and resting, get rid of a lot of the fat by tipping the pan a bit and spooning it out. It’s quite easy, since the fat usually just collects on top. Now put the pan right back on the heat or transfer the drippings and vegetables to a large saucepan, and sprinkle your flour over top. That’s right-add your flour right to the veggies and stir them around, mashing them up, and getting more flavor out.
Next pour in your wine, stirring as you go. This sounds weird, right? You have all those chunky vegetables floating around! Never fear, this will work. Bring the mixture to a boil while you continue to stir, before pouring in your chicken stock. Get it all boiling again and reduce the heat so it’s at a good simmer, stirring and scraping as you go. You should get nice gravy at this point.
Strain the gravy over a fine mesh sieve into a container. You can use it immediately, or put it back on the heat. Sometimes when I’ve misjudged the amount of flour and find it a little thin, I just stir about a tbsp of cornstarch into a few tbsp of cold water and pour a little of that into the gravy to make it thicker. Works really well! I also might add a little fresh chopped thyme or grate a little lemon peel in, depending on how I’m feeling. Play around with it a little and see what works for you!
Makes 4-6 servings