Southern Style Thanksgiving Gravy
My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner hands down is, the gravy, but not any old gravy – my grandma’s Southern style turkey gravy. I’ve loved it since childhood and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thankfully, my grandma taught me how to make it, and one day I hope my children will think of her as they carry on the tradition. Don’t you just love family recipes; there is something so special about making a dish with so many memories attached to it. To me, the meal just tastes so much better.
This gravy may seem a bit time consuming at first but it’s totally worth it. Once you’ve had it, I promise you, you’ll think it’s worth the effort. After all, it’s not difficult, it’s just requires a little patience.
Begin by browning the turkey parts, onions, carrots and celery. I usually use one wing, and the neck. If you plan on doubling the recipe use both wings to give even more flavor. After the turkey is nice and browned, begin to deglaze the pan by pouring in the turkey stock. Once all the turkey stock is added bring to a boil and simmer for one hour.
After the broth is good and flavorful, remove the turkey parts and veggies and strain the stock through a cheesecloth. Then put the stock in the freezer to solidify the fat some. If you’re cooking a turkey, now is the time to check on your drippings. Add any drippings to the gravy pan and add the solidified fat. I usually start by whisking in 3 tablespoons of flour. I may add more at this time, it depends on how much fat there is. If it looks greasy, add more flour, just whisk it smooth and cook for about a minute to remove the raw flour taste.
My grandma told me the secret to making good gravy; it’s a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio, to make gravy always start with 1 tablespoon fat, to 1 tablespoon flour to 1 cup of broth or milk. This is a great start for any gravy, and if you follow this ratio it’s easy to double or even triple. For turkey gravy it’s a little more complicated, I always just add more flour or broth depending on texture and taste.
After you add the fat and flour, slowly, and I mean really slowly, add the turkey stock while whisking. If it’s added slowly, while it’s whisked, the gravy with thicken up nicely and won’t lump. This is where patience comes in. It kind of reminds me of making risotto… oh all the stirring…but the finished product is just so yummy.
Now, you can finally taste your finished product and add a little salt and pepper. If it tastes greasy, add a little flour, just don’t forget to temper it with the gravy first, after all this hard work we don’t want lumps. If the gravy is too thick, just whisk in some chicken or turkey stock, it’s as simple as that.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving gravy. I don’t just put it on my mashed potatoes, I add it to my stuffing and turkey, after all my Thanksgiving motto is — you can never have too much gravy. You can follow the link to my Thanksgiving Stuffing if you would like to try that too.
In the holiday spirit, I’d like to thank my grandma for teaching me how to make gravy. My grandma will forever hold a special place in my heart.