In my household, gravy only shows up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve just never gotten in the habit of making it for meals, even with meat and potatoes. So early on, gravy appeared from a glass jar, several years later I got brave and graduated to a mix from a packet, and now I’ve arrived at a true pan gravy, complete with roux with gluten free flour, and homemade turkey stock.
It took me a while, but I finally can make a good gravy.
What’s been most helpful is watching the video of Ree Drummond, a.k.a Pioneer Woman, making a roux. For a few years, I attempted to thicken the gravy with a slurry, but for some reason a roux works better for me.
I’m one of those internet people that feels the need to over research whatever it is I’m exploring. Obsessive, but interesting (in my opinion). So here are some of my gravy discoveries so I could compare and contrast. But I’m sticking with the Pioneer Woman. Her gravy is rich in color and flavor. I loved it! It “served” us well at Thanksgiving and it will show up again at Christmas. Then good-bye to gravy till November 2016!
Pioneer Woman: Ree Drummond simmers giblets all morning on the stove until the turkey is out of the oven and it’s time to make gravy. She saves the giblet water to add to the drippings and stock, then chops up the giblets to add as the last step. I tried it this Thanksgiving and the giblet water added a lot of flavor. Funny, she advocates for canned chicken stock as the base with the turkey drippings, when it’s so easy to make your own (and tastier too).
Barefoot Contessa: Ina Garten (why do these women chefs need nicknames?) caramelizes onions first and also adds stock to the turkey drippings. In true lah-di-dah Hamptons fashion, a touch of cognac or brandy finishes off the gravy. Ina suggests a splash of heavy cream as well. I go with this addition if I have some on hand.
Trish’s Southern Cooking: Trisha Yearwood (called Trish, a more obvious nickname) goes with a classic gravy recipe with a twist: the addition of two chopped hard-boiled eggs. I’m convinced if I did this someone at my dinner table would notice and be disgusted. I won’t say who. If you try this, let me know how it tasted.
100 Days of Real Food: Lisa Leake boasts one of the easiest and most straightforward turkey gravy recipe. She also suggests using a fat separator. Years ago my sister-in-law got me one for Christmas and I’ve used it ever since, two days a year, of course!
If you want a good laugh, the first blog I wrote about making gravy I spelled roux as roué. Look it up, it’s pretty funny (and embarrassing).