Amazing Turkey Gravy
“Good gravy has the power to transform, or even save, a meal."
- Jamie Oliver
Think of your turkey gravy as a unique sauce, rather than a traditional gravy. Created from flavoursome meat juices and then thickened with a 'roux' - a classic french method of using a butter and flour paste to thicken a sauce.
There are several methods of creating the perfect turkey gravy and they all begin with getting as much meaty flavour into the stock base. Whether you roast meat bones in advance, use just the juices from the turkey tray, roast a kilo or two of chicken wing tips or use a good quality bought stock your turkey gravy will only be as good as the liquid base.
Here is a method that may seem time consuming but it will save major time and effort on Christmas or New Year's Day. Assuming you have bought a whole turkey cook the bird the day before you plan to eat it. Ensure the turkey is thoroughly cooked and then take the meat from the bird in whole sections: leg/thigh joints, breasts, wings. Get as much meat off the turkey as possible and then wrap or cover and refrigerate immediately.
You are now left with all the flavour you need to make an amazing turkey gravy. If you wish, you can roast the carcass for a further half hour or so to add extra flavour or just break down the bones ready for the pan. I like to create a 'trivet' of onions, garlic, celery, carrot etc... to rest the bird on as it cooks to add to the gravy pot, but you can fry off chopped vegetables in your pan before you add your turkey bones instead. Add in a few glugs of white wine and a bunch of herbs: bay, thyme, rosemary and/or parsley. Simmer for an hour or so and strain. To make the roux- melt around half a pack of butter (or alternative) in the pan and stir in half a standard cup of plain flour for around 1.5- 2 litres of stock. Mix together until it holds together like a dry paste and has a bit of colour. Slowly whisk in your gravy stock and it will thicken. If not thick enough you can cheat with a bit of chicken gravy granules or cornflour. Cover and refrigerate as soon as possible.
Christmas Day Simplicity
On Christmas morning simply carve the turkey and place it in a tray, covered with some of your delicious gravy. Cover with foil and ensure you reheat the meat to a minimum of 75 degrees centigrade.
Then put your feet up and enjoy the rest of the morning with your family!
Have an extremely merry Christmas!
By Dom Morgan - Meatline Chef