Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Culinary Q&A: Help! How do I make turkey gravy?

The basics
Gravy is essentially thickened stock or pan drippings. Since the goal of most cooking methods is to keep the moisture inside your bird I wouldn’t recommend counting on your pan drippings alone. This time of year Turkey stock or broth can be found right to the chicken stock. Warning, if you are brining your bird the pan drippings may be too salty to use.

If you are serving eight people the total amount of stock (including the pan drippings) needed is 4 cups. The Rule of Thumb: ½ cup of stock per person.

To thickening the gravy, without lumps, a roux works best. A roux is combination of butter and flour that is cooked together and is used as a thickening agent. The total amount of roux needed is based on the total amount of liquid you are thickening. Rule of Thumb: The total of amount of roux (butter/flour combined) should equal 10% of the amount liquid you are thickening.

Quick Math:
4 Cups = 32 ounces Stock
10% = ~3 ounces Total Roux
3 ounces Roux / 2 = 1.5 ounces of butter and 1.5 ounces of Flour = 3Tbs Butter + 3Tbs Flour
*1 cup = 8 ounces
*1 ounce = 2 Tbs

The Recipe
Serves 8

4 Cups Turkey Stock/Pan Drippings
3 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Flour
Salt & Pepper

Skim excess fat from pan drippings. Heat the stock and drippings in a separate pan (or in the microwave) to just below a boil. In a saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together flour and butter. Continue to whisk until the butter and flour have reached a light brown or ‘Blond’ color (the mixture will resemble wet sand). Slowly whisk the hot stock into the roux one cup at a time. Once all the stock is combined, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

An Example of a Blond Roux:


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