Gravy is the lifeblood of every Thanksgiving dinner; you slather your turkey with it, top your mashed potatoes with it, and add a few drops to every leftover sandwich you make following the big meal. Gravy is a central part of the holiday meal, and you can impress everyone at the table with some easy steps to the most flavorful gravy ever.
The Thanksgiving table is not complete without a big bowl of gravy, but the store-bought stuff is often loaded with lots of unnecessary preservatives, and homemade gravy tastes much better, too. The best part? It’s really easy to make, I promise.
People often get stressed about preparing their own gravy, since it has to happen between the moment the turkey comes out of the oven and when everyone sits down at the table. Luckily, it can be really simple as long as you have a plan going in. First, have the stock you want to use heating with some aromatics while the turkey cooks. You can also make your own turkey stock or make giblet broth, but store-bought works fine here.
Then, remove the turkey from the roasting pan (which you’ll need for the gravy) and set it up on a carving tray to rest under tented foil. Resting the turkey gives you the few minutes you’ll need to get everything together for a very quick gravy. Those pan drippings, along with the giblets stored inside the turkey, will be the flavor base for the gravy.
If you’re trying to save time in the gravy making process, a fat separator is a great utensil. You can do this the old-fashion way and cool the drippings until the fat settles at the top, but a separator quickly strains the fat from the drippings and has a spout for easy pouring. A few extra minutes may not seem like a lot, but every little bit of time saved means peace of mind for you before the big meal.
If you’re going through the trouble of roasting a turkey, homemade gravy is a logical and cheap next step, and it’s worth the extra effort. Still figuring out what to make for the big dinner? Click here to see more Thanksgiving tips from The Daily Meal.
Use the Giblets
Pronounced “jiblets,” giblets are the extra parts (think gizzard, heart, and liver) that are often packaged up with whole fowl. Turkey neck is frequently looped into this same category, but technically it’s not offal. They’re not pretty to look at, and you don’t have to eat them, but giblets are one of the easiest things to flavor your gravy with.
Sear the Giblets
Remember that giblet flavor we just discussed? Sear the giblets in a pot big enough to hold the stock you’ll be using to make the gravy.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.