Classic Turkey Gravy
For the broth:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion or leek, or 2 shallots, sliced
Neck and giblets from your turkey (discard the liver)
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 sprigs thyme, parsley, rosemary and/or sage
1 bay leaf
For the gravy:
Turkey drippings from your roasting pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cold Flavored Butter, recipe follows (optional)
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For the gravy:
When your turkey goes into the oven, start the broth: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and turkey neck and giblets; cook, stirring, until the giblets are browned, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken broth, herb sprigs and bay leaf; cover and simmer while the turkey roasts, about 2 hours. Strain the broth and keep warm; reserve the neck and giblets, if desired.
When your turkey is done, transfer it to a cutting board and pour all the pan drippings into a degreasing cup. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared broth to the roasting pan and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. (If the bits are stuck, put the pan over a low burner to loosen them.) Add the bits and liquid to the degreasing cup.
Let the fat rise to the top of the degreasing cup, then spoon off 1/2 cup fat and transfer to a large saucepan over medium heat. Make a roux: Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the flour browns slightly, about 4 minutes.
Gradually add the hot broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Pour the dark roasting juices from the degreasing cup into the gravy, discarding any remaining fat. If desired, chop the giblets and shred the neck meat; add to the gravy. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flavored butter, if desired.
Make Your Own Butter:
Start with cold heavy cream and mix on high speed.
After about 3 minutes, you'll have whipped cream; continue mixing.
After about 6 more minutes, the butter will clump and separate from the liquid. Strain and wrap the butter in cheesecloth, then squeeze out the liquid.
Tip: To make perfect rounds, shape flavored butter into a log using parchment paper; wrap and chill, then slice.
Mash 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin, 1 stick softened butter, 1/4 teaspoon orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt.
Simmer 1/2 cup cranberries with 1 tablespoon water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 strip lemon zest, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 clove, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard the zest, cinnamon and clove; let cool. Pulse in a food processor with 1 stick softened butter and a pinch of salt.
Microwave 1/2 cup raisins with 1 tablespoon bourbon, covered, 45 seconds; let cool. Pulse in a food processor with 1 stick softened butter, 1 tablespoon chopped chives and a pinch of salt.
Sage Brown Butter
Melt 1 stick butter over medium heat and cook until browned. Add 1/4 cup sage and fry 30 seconds; drain on paper towels, then chop. Let the brown butter cool; mash with 1 stick softened butter, the sage and a pinch of salt.
The Golden Formula: (for 8 cups of gravy) 1/2 cup fat Use the oil that separates from your turkey drippings. If you don't have enough, add butter. 1/2 cup flour Cook the flour with the fat to make a roux for thickening the gravy. For a darker gravy, cook the roux longer. (Note: Darker roux has less thickening power.) 8 cups broth Upgrade store-bought broth by simmering it with a sliced onion, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, parsley and/or sage, and the turkey giblets for about 2 hours. Quick Fixes: Too Thick? Add a splash of water, broth, brandy or bourbon. Too Thin? Mix equal parts flour and soft butter; whisk into boiling gravy. Too Lumpy? Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve.
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine