How to Make Gravy for Thanksgiving
Gravy is a wonderful complement to roast turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and just about anything else you might pile onto your Thanksgiving dinner plate. With some homemade turkey stock, water, flour, and rich, browned pan drippings, any home cook can create a flavorful homemade gravy. Here, we're offering a step-by-step guide for making an easy batch of gravy right in the roasting pan.
In order to make the easiest, most delicious gravy, you'll need to plan ahead. You can make homemade turkey stock up to three months in advance by storing it in the freezer, then defrosting 24-48 hours before Thanksgiving day. Ask your butcher to reserve bones and giblets and pick them up for just a few dollars to make the stock. Trust us, it's so much better than the boxed stuff.
One of the most common pitfalls home cooks experience when making homemade gravy is lumps in the sauce. To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly whisk the gravy after the flour has been added to thicken the liquid. Once the gravy has finished cooking, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing it through using a rubber spatula. This will remove any particles that haven't fully dissolved, creating a super smooth gravy.
Using the proper roasting pan is another important element in making a flavorful pan gravy. Avoid using a nonstick pan to cook the turkey, as the turkey drippings won't brown and caramelize on the surface as well as they would with stainless steel.
Keep the gravy warm until dinner time, then transfer to a gorgeous gravy boat to serve.
Made-from-scratch gravy is one of the highlights of Thanksgiving. In less than 30 minutes, you can build flavor with just the drippings from the roasting pan, a little bit of flour, and a homemade giblet stock.
Heat the Pan Juices
After removing the turkey and rack from the roasting pan, place the pan across two burners on the stovetop. Simmer pan juices over medium-high heat, scraping and stirring with a wooden spoon until liquid thickens and holds a trail.
Make the Roux
Add ½ cup all-purpose flour and stir to combine. Continue to cook until flour mixture is bubbling and smooth, about one minute. This is your thickener (also called a roux).
Whisk in Stock
Slowly whisk in turkey stock and water. Cook, whisking, until gravy thickens (reduce heat if it starts to scorch).
Strain and Serve
Pour gravy through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and thin with water or stock, if necessary. Serve warm.