Giblet Gravy

A gravy with depth of flavor…

Last year, I posted a recipe for Make Ahead Gravy.  Thanks Cara for Reminding me!  I am all for anything made in advance.  Here is another recipe that I heard on Melinda Lee’s radio show and I decided to try it.

Note: If making this well in advance so the neck and giblets are not yet available, use turkey wings or a piece of turkey leg, cut into pieces]

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Giblet Gravy

Makes 4 cups

Neck and giblets from turkey – rinsed and patted dry
1-2 Tbs, butter (or more, as needed)
2 medium-size onions – coarsely chopped
2 medium-size carrots – coarsely chopped
1 large rib, celery – coarsely chopped
2 cloves, garlic – coarsely chopped
3 Tbs, flour
6 sprigs, fresh thyme (or 3 tsp, dried thyme leaves)
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 qts (8 cups), water
salt and pepper as needed

This can be a light but creamy sauce, or a thicker, hearty gravy, depending on how you choose to finish it. [See* below.] In either case, it will have a full, rich flavor. One of the best things about this gravy is that it can be made ahead (up to the finishing point, if you plan to add the pan drippings) and frozen. That takes off a lot of last-minute pressure on serving day!

Cut the turkey neck (or alternative parts, see above) into three or four pieces, for easier handling. Trim the tough membrane from the gizzard. Rinse all neck pieces and giblets, and pat them very dry with paper towels.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and, when its foaming begins to subside, add the neck and gizzard pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat until golden brown – about 15-20 minutes.

Add the coarsely chopped vegetables and garlic, season again with salt and pepper, and continue sautéing (add small bits of butter if necessary to prevent scorching) until vegetables begin to color slightly – about 5 minutes. [The sautéing of the vegetables, develops sweetness, and prevents bitterness.]

Sprinkle over the flour, and continue sautéing, stirring constantly, until the floured vegetables turn brown – about 10 minutes. [This browning adds a nice depth of flavor.]

Add the thyme, bay leaves and water to the vegetables, whisking or stirring briskly to incorporate flavors and prevent lumps. When the liquid begins to boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Reserve the sauce. You should have about 4 cups of sauce.

*This sauce may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated – or even frozen, if made several days ahead. It may be served as-is, OR thickened before serving by adding small bits of beurre manie (equal parts flour and butter rubbed together into a paste) to the simmering sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick upon standing (or freezing) simply thin it during reheating, using milk or broth – or even water – to the desired consistency.

Alternatively, pan drippings may be added before serving and additional thickening may be added at that time. [See* below for thickening using pan drippings mixture.]

Cut the turkey neck (or alternative parts, see above) into three or four pieces, for easier handling. Trim the tough membrane from the gizzard. Rinse all neck pieces and giblets, and pat them very dry with paper towels.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and, when its foaming begins to subside, add the neck and gizzard pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat until golden brown – about 15-20 minutes.

Add the coarsely chopped vegetables and garlic, season again with salt and pepper, and continue sautéing (add small bits of butter if necessary to prevent scorching) until vegetables begin to color slightly – about 5 minutes. [The sautéing of the vegetables, develops sweetness, and prevents bitterness.]

Sprinkle over the flour, and continue sauteing, stirring constantly, until the floured vegetables turn brown – about 10 minutes. [This browning adds a nice depth of flavor.]

Add the thyme, bay leaves and water to the vegetables, whisking or stirring briskly to incorporate flavors and prevent lumps. When the liquid begins to boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Reserve the sauce. You should have about 4 cups of sauce.

*This sauce may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated – or even frozen, if made several days ahead. It may be served as-is, OR thickened before serving by adding small bits of beurre manie (equal parts flour and butter rubbed together into a paste) to the simmering sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick upon standing (or freezing) simply thin it during reheating, using milk or broth – or even water – to the desired consistency.

Alternatively, pan drippings may be added before serving and additional thickening may be added at that time. [See* below for thickening using pan drippings mixture.]

TO ADD PAN DRIPPINGS TO GRAVY:

Remove the roasted turkey and the cooking rack from the roasting pan; place the pan over two burners on the stove, heat adjusted to medium-high. Pour one cup of dry white wine (or dry vermouth) into the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. With a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape the pan bottom to loosen the browned bits. Remove the roasting pan from the heat, and strain the liquid into a measuring cup, discarding the solids left in the strainer.

Allow the liquid in the cup to stand so that the fat separates to the top – then, tilting the measuring cup, skim off the fat with a shallow spoon. Reserve the fat if you intend to thicken the gravy furthur while adding the pan drippings!

De-fatted pan drippings (in the measuring cup above) may simply be added to the sauce, if no further thickening is desired. Whisk in the drippings, and allow sauce to simmer for a few minutes to develop flavors.

*TO ADD DRIPPINGS AND ALSO THICKEN THE SAUCE AT THE SAME TIME:

Heat 4 tablespoons* of reserved turkey fat in a large saucepan until bubbling, then stir in an equal amount of flour (*use only half this amount of fat and flour if less thickening is desired for a thinner final gravy). Heat and stir the fat and flour mixture until bubbling – about 1 full minute, then gradually whisk in the defatted pan drippings, and finally, whisk in the finished sauce made ahead as described above. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer the drippings mixture with the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning with salt and pepper.

NOTE: As the finished gravy is allowed to stand and cool, it will become thicker. To correct gravy that has become too thick, simply re-heat the gravy, adding water, turkey broth or chicken broth (or even milk) until it has thinned to the desired consistency. Taste again for seasonings. A good idea: serve the gravy in a warmed gravy boat or serving bowl.

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