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Your Turkey Gravy Secrets???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I usually don't cook Thanksgiving dinner, that is my Sis and my Wife's big feast they prepare each year, I cook all the other family get-to-together meals, etc. My wife makes the gravy the standard way, equal amounts of turkey fat & flour, making a roux, then add liquid which is giblet broth, and seasons it. While my wife's gravy is fine, I happen to be at a cafe, the next day, and craved more turkey and gravy. They served an open face turkey & gravy over bread, which I ordered. The gravy was like most decent restaurant's gravy, that perfect light brown color, and super flavorful.

What is the restaurant doing that achieves such a rich color and great taste?
post #2 of 17

Most likely the restaurant used well roasted mirepoix in their gravy and I suspect, they also added some chicken base to give it a richer, stronger ,more pronounced flavor.

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

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post #3 of 17

Good turkey stock helps. Giblet stock isn't always up to the task. That's one reason I started doing a turkey in September and freezing 2 quarts of stock from it. Better for making the dressing, the giblet stock and the gravy.

 

More than Gourmet has a pretty good reduced turkey stock base they sell in small sealed pucks. Enough to improve the Thanksgiving meal. It's pricey for the amount you get, but much higher quality than normal grocery store bases.

 

Using turkey fat in the roux is a good step as well. I've usually pre-browned the roux while other things are going on to save some time there at the finish. I'll render the fat from around the neck, cavity, tail, excess skin so I have some good fat ahead of time.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 17

Good Turkey stock, just finished three quarts into the freezer for Christmas, made it from the Thanksgiving Turkey carcass.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #5 of 17

700

For a really intense turkey gravy I use only the necks to make the stock.

post #6 of 17

I use drippings from pan after I deglaze iit with strong stock and cook and fine chop giblets. Like Pete I make mine in bulk after the Holiday because I have the carcass for the stock  and drippings etc.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 17

Very reduced stock that I can goes into mine along with the pan drippings.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
All excellent points, and info. I will try some of them for our Christmas turkey. I prepare a couple of family meals each year at my sis (her house is twice the size of ours), and I go well prepared with everything necessary to make a great meal. Next year we will make the turkey stock at home and have turkey fat ready for the gravy process.
post #9 of 17

I season my flour and dry it in a pan before adding fat for my roux.  I find I use less fat that way too.  I cook the roux till I get the color I'm after then add rich turkey stock - in my case stock I made from a smoked turkey carcass, wing tips, etc.  This year I smoked a hotel breast and used the pan drippings along with stock for my gravy.

post #10 of 17

That is a problem I have with doing a turkey out of town at a relative's place.  I don't get to make a decent turkey stock beforehand.  I like roasting wings at 450 F for 30 -40 minutes and using them as the basis for the stock.  There was a market in the area that had fresh wings. legs, etc. on hand but they got bought out, no more turkey parts.  Still available elsewhere, just not so convenient.

 

25+ years ago I attended my first Thanksgiving dinner with my soon to be wife's family.  They tossed the roasting pan juices and made gravy from a couple of packets using water.  I'm surprised I refrained from bloodshed.

 

But the gravy they made did seem a perfect match for the instant potatoes.

 

Things are much better now.  They trust my cooking.

 

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #11 of 17

Not having Thanksgiving in the uk and not really eating turkey during the year means no stock.

If we are having turkey at christmas, I'll buy a couple of turkey legs and roast them in a hot oven with lots of onions, carrots,garlic and celery. Add thyme, and a couple of bay leaves and drizzle with oil

Once its well cooked, break it all up and mix with 1/3 cup flour, then pour in 2 pints water and bring to a simmer stirring. Simmer for 20 mins then pass the lot through a sieve. Season n thats it.

Always better if some of the meat n veg gets slightly caramelised for taste and colour

 

PS...remove the bones from the leavings and you've got great dog food

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #12 of 17
Yaay, Bughut, how NICE to 'see' you.

How goes the business?
post #13 of 17

Yaay yerself Ishbel.

Bin 18 months of load-a-stuff, so no speakie. Business is ok but took a while to get it right. I was painting vignettes at wargame standard and realised just in time, like just before i put them up for sale, that they need a whole new spec. Major re-vamp. Total strip down and start from scratch. But on track now. I'll post pics I'm proud of soon.

 

Soooo enjoying cooking now I'm not a chef anymore.

 

Just looked back into site tonight for the first time in  a loooong while n it looks good. Really good if ur reading Nicko.

 

Gonna go n check out some of your posts now to catch up

 

Spk soon

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #14 of 17

Great to hear from you Bughut ! It's so good to see on the boards. You know you will always be a chef at heart.

The site has gone through some changes and it really does look great, Nicko and his team have done a great job.

 

Look forward to seeing you around wink.gif

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #15 of 17

Good gravy is so easy yet so many people seem to miss the mark.

 

I retain all the drippings, deglaze the pan with chicken stock, add some fresh chopped thyme, some pepper.  While keeping it on a gentle heat, I mix some corn starch with water and slowly wisk that into the gravy until I have the desired consistency. 

 

The result should be a very dark, rich gravy that is killer. 

post #16 of 17

Teamfat... the HORROR of tossing the BEST part for gravy!  I learned all my cooking basics from my Grandmother.  She was a great cook, hardly ever ahd anything resembling a recipe, and cook a lot of things that were just dumped together.  She was also prone to BURNING stuff?!?  Whether beef, pork, chicken or turkey... catching it before all that great brown gunk un bottom of pan goes BLACK... is a bit of an art, imo! 

 

In a perfect world, homemade turkey stock is what you want.  If I was cooking the whole meal, would start a few days ahead to make stock.  WOuld buy some parts (thighs, wings, etc) and roast the HECK outta them till super brown and lots of stuff stuck to bottom.  I'd plunk the thighs (one of least favorite parts) into stock pot with celery/onion/carrot/bayleaf, cover with water and just let it simmer away.  While doing rest of food stuf, would pick at the wings... probably my favorite parts.  Would get up all the brown stuff with stock and then add a flour/water slurry. 

 

In our imperfect world, I'd go with store bought stock... like boxed stuff better than canned.  If not turkey, chicken stock will do fine for deglaing the pan.  First year I started joinging brother and sil for t-day (with her side of family), I immediately asked what I could do.  Brother was takiing care of bird.  I said I'd make gravy... and was handed 2-3 JARS of "gravy"???  This grown-up crowd of SDULTS had NO idea how to make plain, simple gravy from drippings??  They acted like I was Moses parting the Red Sea... with brother just rolling his eyes in background.

post #17 of 17

Wondra and Kitchen Bouquet, that’s my secret and I’m not telling, oh, I just did  tongue.gif

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