Everyone is hungry. And swarming the kitchen. Tom is working on carving the turkey (and needs LOTS of space.) Our son-in-law, Chris, is mashing the potatoes. And then I am trying to make enough gravy to please everyone... and one that isn't to dark and salty.
Gravy is not my forté.
Over the years, I have learned to compensate and these are my gravy godsends:
- Wondra quick mixing flour
- extra Turkey broth
- a good gravy separator
Wondra flour has made my gravy lump free. It incorporates with the pan juices quickly.
Turkey stock is needed because from year to year our turkeys produce inconsistent amounts of pan juices. It has really helped me control the density and darkness of the gravy. I just keep adding it a little at a time, tasting it and then adding more, until it is nice and smooth.
I should also mention the extra large glass gravy separator that my mother-in-law gave me years ago when I didn't realize how much I would need it or appreciate it, even though it is a pain to clean. I take it for granted.
Over the weekend I saw that Target had the OXO gravy separator on sale, so I decided to treat myself to one. It will so much easier to clean than the glass one.
Also, I found a new brand of turkey broth which I am hoping has more flavor than the College Inn brand. You can always use chicken broth instead of turkey broth.
So, now it just a matter of asking for help to pour off the juices from the big roasting pan into the new gravy separator, then de-glazing the pan with the turkey stock. Adding flour to the stock and then returning the juices that have separated. (To speed up the separation, I stick the gravy separator in the freezer for a while.) Then cooking it until it becomes thick and glossy. Tasting it. And adding more stock to thin it out as necessary.
I have also read that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it, but Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without the stovetop gravy, as far as I am concerned. But who knows, maybe next year, I will even be willing to forgo that step.