Turkey Gravy is probably the most important recipe of the menu! It is what makes all the other dishes pop! And you must make the turkey stock. It is so simple, takes no time, can be done months ahead. It has a flavor totally different than chicken stock. I have also not found a prepared turkey stock that really tastes like turkey.
This is basically a pan gravy because we will be utilizing the drippings from roasting the turkey. You know, except for the need for these drippings, the turkey is not the star of the show on Thanksgiving. It is the sides and the gravy! And because I want the drippings before the last minute, I roast the turkey (another post) early in the day. Served with piping hot gravy, no one knows the difference and that mess is cleaned up before everyone shows up. Now for two controversial gravy ingredients.
the hard-boiled eggs. I have done some online research and see that this addition probably originated in the rural South. Lots of mentions of Georgia and Appalachia. It has been a part of my Thanksgiving forever. Gravy is good without them but, for me, it is a must. I won’t give it up, but I will serve it both ways……the haves and the have nots! The haves has always been refilled many more times!
the giblets. I grew up with them in the gravy. NO, I don’t want them in my gravy. But if you do, then rinse them. Put the heart, gizzard and neck (liver is too strong) in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Dice the heart and gizzard (neck was there for flavor, toss it) Add to gravy when the hard-boiled eggs are added.
Rinse turkey parts. Transfer to 8-quart stockpot. Add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours or meat is falling off the bone. Remove cover last 15 minutes to reduce a bit. Cool. Strain. Transfer to container for refrigerator.
Next day: Fat will have risen to the top. Remove carefully and SAVE (freeze if using later). Proceed with recipe or portion stock and freeze for later use. Note: stock should be gelatinous when chilled. The small container picture is the fat that was skimmed from the top....just about 3 TBS but full of flavor.
To make the gravy: Drain pan drippings from roasted turkey into a fat separator. Do NOT discard fat. Pour de-fatted pan drippings into a measuring cup. Add turkey stock to total 4-5 cups. Set aside for finishing gravy.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the reserved fat. If you don't have enough fat, use butter to make up for it. Add flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add turkey stock and defatted pan drippings. Cook until thickened. Add more stock if needed...don't make it too thick!
Just before serving, add hard-boiled eggs (and giblets if you like) and cook until hot.
[recipe]MaryJames dishes it out....
Using the fat from the stock and pan drippings is very important. There is a huge amount of flavor. Don't skimp. It's Thanksgiving.
No salt in the recipe because I like to control that with my final dish.
The drippings make the gravy. Use all of them......and sometimes I throw in the rest of the fat.
Leftovers? Lift out the large pieces of hard-boiled eggs and freeze. I like to use it as a base for a soup....If you make turkey carcass soup, it is a perfect addition.