This Thanksgiving, I was responsible for the turkey and gravy and my family recipe for stuffing. (Melanie makes her own stuffing too because she likes a different style.1) I had the turkey recipe and the stuffing recipe ready to go, but I had left the gravy recipe to the last minute. I needed a quick turkey gravy.
I was going to make the Cooks Illustrated Turkey Gravy, but then I looked at what was involved: roasting veggies for an hour, simmering for 90 minutes, cooling another hour, cooking again. We were eating in an hour and I needed to start this yesterday!2
So I adapted. I put the gizzards and veggies in a saucepan and sautéed them for 15-20 minutes. Then I added 4 cups of homemade chicken stock plus all the turkey drippings, and 2 cups wine and thyme. Let that simmer for another 15 minutes. Strained it into a bowl and put 1/2 cup of oil in the bottom of the saucepan plus 1/2 cup of flour and cooked that into a roux for about 5 minutes. Whisked the strained liquid back in, added a dash of Worcestershire and a pinch of Accent flavor enhancer for umami and served a silky smooth quick turkey gravy that was one of the best I’ve ever made. All in under an hour. Whew!
Reserved turkey giblets and neck, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot (or a handful of baby carrots) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
1 tsp thyme, dried
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oil, canola or sunflower or other neutral flavor
1/2 tsp Accent flavor enhancer (optional)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and ground black pepper
- Place the roasting pan with turkey drippings on a stovetop burner (if you can), set it to high heat and add the chicken broth. Simmer while scraping the drippings for 10-15 minutes.
- If you have a burner available while the drippings and chicken stock deglaze, put a large saucepan on it and add the turkey parts and vegetables, plus 1 tsp salt. While the roasting pan is deglazing, sauté the veggies and giblets over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, but not browned and the giblets and neck have started to leave a fond on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the drippings and stock to the saucepan along with the wine and thyme. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. If you have time to let it cool and sit, you can skim off the fat that rises, but my turkey did not have so much fat in the pan and the gravy did not come out greasy. You could replace some of the oil in the next step with turkey fat.
- Put the oil in the saucepan over medium heat and the sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 4 minutes until it starts to turn brown.
- Whisk the broth back in slowly, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low. Add the Worcestershire and Accent, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Dip your spoon, turn it over, run your finger down the middle. If the part you didn’t touch remains coated in gravy while the part in the middle stays clear, it’s thick enough.)
- The gravy should be slightly saltier than you expect because it will then be perfect on your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Add salt, if necessary.