hey, its thursday tip time .. . LETS TALK GRAVY!!
ok, we've only got two weeks to go till thanksgiving. .. .so just how do you make great gravy. . ..if you follow the detailed instructions provided in the link, you should have no problem. . .and rather than rehash those directions here word for word, let me touch on a couple of key topics, and most important, how to avoid or work through common mistakes and problems...[p]1. the ingredients....obviously, good rich gravy comes from good rich ingredients. ..and like i say, if you've followed the mad max turkey method, you will have everything you need for fabulous gravy.. .so. .. .[p] a/ make your own turkey stock using the parts that come in your turkey. ..want to make an extra big pot of stock?. .buy a couple of extra turkey necks for the stock pot ..and make sure you let that stock simmer all day to get the best stock possible ...if you aren't interested or don't have the time to make stock, then at least use chicken broth (canned)for the gravy. . .don't just use water, if you do that, the gravy will be less tasty no matter what else you do ...[p] b/ make sure to utilize all of the drippings from the bird and the roasting pan (and separate the fat as shown). ...really work that stuff into your roux.. .that is really where the flavor is achieved .. .[p] c/ keep that whisk going, and going, and going. .. .you have to keep whisking from the moment you start, in order to avoid scorching the drippings/butter/flour during the initial part of the process, and then, as you add the wine and start adding the stock, to avoid any lumps. . . even before adding the stock, you should have a nice smooth pasty roux working for you ...dont' worry if it gets too thick at this point, as you start adding the stock it will smooth out for you. . .[p]common problems/issues folks have with gravy and how to avoid them. ..[p]1. burnt tasting gravy. ..as i said above, from the minute you put the pan on the stove, keep stirring. ..its ok for your roux to brown, but don't let it get burned. ..a little browning of the roux just adds to the final rich color of the finished product[p]2. floury tasting gravy.. ..you don't have to use a lot of flour to achieve good creamy gravy. ...with two sticks of butter, 1/2 a cup of flour is more than sufficient for about 3 - 4 quarts of good smooth gravy. ...need it a little thicker? . .i'll talk about that in a minute[p]3. watery gravy .. .make sure you a) use enough flour for a good roux, and 2) make sure to use stock (either home made turkey or canned chicken) rather than just water . . [p]4. lumpy gravy. ..this is an important one. .. .folks get worried that their gravy is too thin, and so often think that to thicken their gravy, all they have to do is sprinkle some flour into the pot and it will thicken it all up ... .unfortunately most of that flour will simply congeal into little flour balls that all the whisking in the world won't break up. ... .so if you need to thicken your gravy, first take a tablespoon or so of flour or cornstarch, put it in a separate bowl with some of your stock, and stir it into a nice thick paste that is lump free. ..then you can add some of that paste a teaspoon full at a time to your gravy, whisking it well into your gravy ....you will be lump-free that way. ..and you can keep doing this until your gravy is exactly the consistency you want it to be. ..[p]5 gravy too salty. ..remember that your gravy will already be benefitting from the stuff you roasted your bird in, so if you brined the bird, or other wise salted it in any way, don't go adding more salt to the gravy till its almost finished and you've taste tested it first. . .same goes for pepper and/or any other herbs you might want to add. . ..[p]remember, your gravy should compliment your bird, not overwhelm it. ..so it will already have had the benefit of the same herbs/spices/etc you roasted your bird with due to what's in the drippings. . ..[p]so go ahead and make your own gravy, you won't be sorry, and you'll be the hit of thanksgiving. . .and a great gravy will make for a truly memorable meal for everyone. . .it doesn't matter how good your turkey and stuffing are, if the gravy is mediocre or pedestrian, it will cover up the the turkey and stuffing. ..but if the gravy is great, folks will really remember it and comment on it. . .and now you know how to do it. ..[p]next thursday, final thoughts and pulling it all together. ...[p]as always, here is the mad max turkey link[p]enjoy