Your bird is out of the oven so whatever you do, don’t throw out those pan drippings from your roast turkey! Your guests will want gravy and not just any gravy. Pan gravy should be rich in flavor from gorgeous drippings, whisked into a buttery roux resulting in a silky creation.
There are some handy tools you should have at your fingertips for making gravy:
The sturdy roasting pan that was a must for roasting turkey now goes to the stovetop to make the gravy.
One of my favorites tools in making pan gravy is a fat separator. Pouring the pan drippings off the roasted turkey through a fat separator literally pulls the fat away, capturing only the good stuff for your gravy.
I use a flat whisk for starting the roux and keeping the gravy smooth as it thickens. A whisk will break up any lumps or clumps in your flour, creating that beautiful, smooth gravy that is picture perfect for your table.
The last item is very elementary, a pint size jar. I always keep one on hand in the event I need to add a bit of flour to thicken the gravy. You can add flour to room temperature stock, shake it until it’s smooth and pour it into your hot gravy. Never, ever add flour directly to hot liquid! The results are not pretty.
If you want to make the gravy in advance, start by making the roux in a deep skillet then add the stock reduction (reducing the stock enhances the flavor). Then when you’re ready to serve, reheat the gravy and top it off with the separated pan drippings.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour, more if needed for thickening
¼-1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
*5 cups turkey or chicken stock, more if needed
Pan drippings from the roast turkey
While the turkey is roasting pour 5 cups of turkey or chicken stock into a saucepan and set over medium heat to reduce down to about half. This takes about 45 minutes and brings out the best of the stock. After your turkey is done and resting on a cutting board, pour the drippings from the roasting pan into the fat separator.
Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted add the flour and whisk until you have a smooth roux. Season with the pepper and cook for about five minutes or until the flour starts to turn golden, stirring frequently.
If you brined your turkey, check for seasoning before you go near the salt! Most likely, you won’t need to add any additional. Pour in the pan drippings taking care to not add the separated fat back into the gravy. Whisk until smooth. Add the additional stock reduction, about a cup at a time whisking into the gravy. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the gravy has thickened, adding more stock if needed to reach your preferred thickness.
Don’t be concerned if the gravy is thinner or thicker than you would like. If you want thicker gravy, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour along with one cup stock and shake in a jar until smooth. Slowly pour the flour and stock mixture into the gravy, cooking for an additional 10 minutes. If you want a thinner gravy, simply add a bit more stock.
For leftovers, gently warm over medium-low heat, adding more stock to thin if needed.