Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good Gravy

Gravy for poultry by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Good gravy is a godsend, whether you need it to dress the bird, the dressing or the mashed potatoes, having homemade gravy on the Thanksgiving table pretty much separates the real cooks from the duffers.

There's no particular magic to gravy, just attention to ingredients and proper stirring to eliminate lumps will carry a novice through. Here's the recipe that I've used for years - it's based on canned chicken broth, but substitute homemade turkey or chicken or vegetable broth as you wish. For the Thanksgiving feast, combine the gravy with some of the pan drippings from the bird for a truly spectacular gravy (if the bird has been brined, add drippings judiciously, the salt can quickly overwhelm the sauce).

Gravy for Poultry

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, peeled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme, if available

1 (32 oz) package low-salt chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add the vegetables, all roughly chopped, and let brown, stirring occasionally. Pour chicken broth into a microwavable container and zap for 1 minute.

2. Stir the vegetables until they are nice and caramel-colored, about 10 minutes, then add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Stir this into the vegetables for an additional 5 minutes or so. Then gradually add 4 cups of warm broth. Strain the broth through a sieve, discarding the solids. Season to taste. Cool and store the gravy in the fridge for a day or so, or place in the freezer until Thanksgiving Day.

3. On Turkey Day, stand by the stove, lovingly stirring the gravy, adjusting the seasoning and admiring your kitchen skills. Homemade gravy without lumps, and not requiring a packet or a pocket or a jar.


Julie Quinn said...

mmmm - just may try this for our Saturday Thanksgiving meal at home

Unknown said...

How many cups does this make when all is said and done?

Lucy Mercer said...

@ Kelly, the recipe makes about 4 cups. Thanks for reading!