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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - The Thanksgiving Gravy Thread

The Thanksgiving Gravy Thread

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Postby Myrealana » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:13 am

Babylon1023 wrote:BTW- Do you think there are many downsides to using cornstarch? I did a quick search for other gravies and nearly all of them suggested a flour roux as a thickener. :?

Corn starch will result in a gravy that's less opaque and a bit, well, shinier I guess is how I would describe it.

I always view flour as a thickener for things like sausage gravy or country gravy with fried chicken. For turkey gravy, I always prefer corn starch.
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Postby Parrothead » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:45 am

stixx23 wrote:My advice is don't make what Paula Deen did for the "Food Network Stars" Thanksgiving with the hard boiled eggs and mushrooms and ick.


That stuff looked VILE.

GC - I like your idea of making it a day ahead - allows the flavors to mature and you'll know ahead of time if you need to make adjustments.
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Postby Champagne Charlie » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:39 pm

Babylon1023 wrote:
blil wrote:I don't like using the pan drippings from brined birds. I've done that once or twice with poor results.



Why would brining the bird matter? All you're doing is adding some more water and some salt. Does it come out too salty or something? I'm quite curious because I've heard the same caution about making stock from brined birds. I don't get it.


In my experience, the drippings from the brined bird are insanely salty, and, if you want to use the drippings, you need to be exceedingly cognicent of that. I am going with the un-brined bird around the first of the month (AKA: The Early Bird), and I will be making a small stock from the remains thereof. Then, when the big day comes, we will be having the brined bird (AKA: The Big Bird), with gravy supplied by the earlier relation.
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Postby Myrealana » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:47 pm

I've never had a problem with my pan drippings being too salty with my brined birds. I rinse the bird thoroughly before cooking, and the drippings are just about right. I don't have to add as much salt to the finished product, but I still have to add some.

Of course, since the pan drippings are an addition to my gravy and not the base, that probably makes the difference.
Last edited by Myrealana on Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby blil » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:07 pm

Babylon1023 wrote:
blil wrote:I don't like using the pan drippings from brined birds. I've done that once or twice with poor results.



Why would brining the bird matter? All you're doing is adding some more water and some salt. Does it come out too salty or something? I'm quite curious because I've heard the same caution about making stock from brined birds. I don't get it.


Exactly. The pan drippings turn out too salty, imo. And depending on what kind of brine you use, the drippings can be rather sweet, too. Not a good base for making gravy, imo.

But it's plenty easy to make a good gravy from scratch with a roux, aromatics and stock so it's no big deal.

One thing I would suggest is to start your gravy by browning the (unbrined) neck, wingtips and giblets. That'll get you some nice roasted turkey flavor in you pan. Then make your roux and proceed.
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Postby Babylon1023 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:09 am

Well, in the case of Julia's recipe the drippings aren't a base so much as an addition. I think I'll be safe since I'll be using low sodium chicken broth and I won't bother adding any salt until the last minute after the drippings are added.

BTW-Has anybody actually tried her recipe and had success with it?
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Postby tills24 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:44 am

blil wrote:But it's plenty easy to make a good gravy from scratch with a roux, aromatics and stock so it's no big deal.


Now when you mention aromatics in the gravy, do you keep them in there when you serve it (and I would assume hit it with a stick blender), or strain them out?
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Postby Babylon1023 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:43 am

Lee wrote:
Babylon1023 wrote:BTW-Has anybody actually tried her recipe and had success with it?


Jeez, Butterbean, did you swipe my invisibility cloak again?!


Butterbean wrote:I've used Julia Child's turkey receipe from The French Chef for many years.


D'OH!!! :wall: Missed that one. Time for some caffeine.

BTW-Melon Yoda, very cool that is.
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Postby Babylon1023 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:26 pm

Champagne Charlie wrote:
Question: Do you find that the gravy comes out too salty with the brined bird? I have been contemplating (gasp!) NOT BRINING this year, specifically so I could generate a good quality gravy again! I really want to try Julia's gravy though, and I will try it with a briney, briney bird if you say it works! Let me know. . . .


What I'm considering is to make the gravy up to the point of adding the cornstarch slurry, pouring out the drippings into a gravy separator, deglazing the roasting pan with the unthickened turkey stock, and adding the drippings themselves slowly in order to monitor the salt levels. Once they're all in, or if I stop when it gets too salty, then I'll add the port/cornstarch slurry and finish it up. That's the plan, anyway :)
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Postby Babylon1023 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:27 pm

Pre-T-Day bump!
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Postby honeycomb » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:43 pm

I tried Julia's gravy at my recipe club last week when I tried my first brined bird. Bird, WOW! Gravy, Wow.

The taste was sublime, and I got the turkiness but also the hints of the port and vermouth...but 3 comments:

1. kind of thin; didn't thicken quite as expected.
2. I simmered it for an hour on the stove and not the 2-3 hours of the whole bird cooktime, because her recipe has aromatics for bird-stuffing included, but I'd already done AB's aromatics steep and didn't start the Julia gravy until it'd already been in for an hour (had to pick up daughter from preschool). Did it need more time to reduce?
3. Does everyone just expect gravy from a jar and that's why they didn't take much? I had way more leftover than I thought. But most of them had preschoolers and I did warn that it had port and vermouth in it; maybe that's why.

I know I followed directions pretty well and I'd call it passable, better than other years; flavorful though not too thick.

I'm not sure whether to give it another go-round or figure that Julia's just fancier than what my husband's family would appreciate.
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Postby Rachel » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:59 pm

Sherried Cider Turkey Giblet Gravy

Filed under: Poultry, Dinner, Thanksgiving, Medium, American
by Tony, November 19, 2004
The perfect gravy to go with your baked turkey. You haven’t had gravy until you’ve tried this recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup apple cider (preferable sparkling)
6-8+ Tbsp. all-purpose flour (or Wondra)
2 cups turkey giblet stock (or chicken broth)
Preparation
Skim fat from turkey pan juices, reserving 1/4 cup of fat. Deglaze turkey pan with sherry over medium-high heat, scraping up brown bits. Stir in cider. Bring mixture to a boil, then remove pan from heat.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together reserved fat and flour to make a roux, cooking over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, for 3 minutes. Add sherry mixture and 2 cups stock in a stream, whisking to prevent lumping. Simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to heated gravy boat.

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Postby Babylon1023 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:08 pm

Two weeks to Thanksgiving!

So, what did everybody try last year and what have we learned? I did the Julia gravy and found it to be good yet strange at the same time. I think it was the port. I want to try something different this year that bears more resemblance to a "traditional" turkey gravy (more savory, less sweet), but still much better than what you'll find in a Heinz jar. The quasi-turkey stock with the giblets (minus liver) and neck bones simmering in boxed chicken stock was fun and tasty as well, I'll be repeating it if possible. I also will not have the limitation of making the gravy gluten free since Hollie's family will be getting together for Thanksgiving at a later date.
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