Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Make-Ahead Gravy!

Gravy has always been a thorn in my side - the last minute work over a hot stove with the drippings from the roasting pan.  Not my favorite thing.  In my book, this is the best Thanksgiving recipe because it saves me from that last-minute business.  Love it!!

Make-Ahead Gravy

3 spigs of fresh thyme
2 carrots, peeled and halved
2 parsnips, peeled and halved
4 turkey wings, or combination of wings and legs (about 3 pounds)
2 medium onions, Peeled and quartered
1 cup water (to deglaze roasting pan)
3 cups chicken broth (homemade if possible)
3 cups water
¼ cup of flour
¼ cup of unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange wings in a single layer in a large roasting pan, scatter onions over top. Roast for 1 ½ hours until wings are browned.
Remove wings and onions from roasting pan to a 5-to 6-qt stock pot. Also add carrots, parsnips, and thyme sprigs to stock pot.
Place roasting pan over moderate heat and add 1 cup water to roasting pan, bring to simmer and stir/scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of roasting pan. Once pan is deglazed add the liquid to stock pot.
Add 3 cups of water and 3 cups of chicken broth to stock pot and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce to simmer and let simmer, uncovered for 1 ½ hours.
Remove wings (and other meat pieces) and place in dish or bowl. Save meat for another use. Remove any large vegetables to a bowl and discard. Strain the broth into a large bowl, pressing any vegetable pieces to extract as much liquid as possible.

Refrigerate broth overnight or until completely cool.

To make 3 – 4cups gravy: using a spoon, skim fat off of cooled broth. Put 3 or 4 cups into a saucepan. Save additional broth to season stuffing or freeze for later use. Knead (with your hands) 4 tablespoons butter into ¼ cup flour – this is a classic French technique called “beurre manie”. Bring broth to gentle boil and whisk beurre manie (kneaded butter) into broth until thickened slightly. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use (keeps a week in refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer).