Take the Stress out of Thanksgiving and Make the Gravy Ahead

At my cooking school, The Seasoned Farmhouse, we are always trying to find ways to make things easier for home cooks. One solution we have worked out is how to make wonderful gravy a day in advance of Thanksgiving. The secret is to buy some turkey pieces and parts – wings and legs work great and then to roast them and scrape off all the pan drippings into – what we call the “gold”. The gold is then combined with your roux and home made turkey stock for “make ahead gravy”. No last minute stress!
By | November 19, 2015


Ingredients for Stock & “Gold”
3 Turkey Wings and 3 Turkey legs, cut wings in half so they lie flat
2 carrots, peeled and rough chopped,
2 celery stalks, peeled and rough chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and rough chopped
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Dried Sage
Sheet Tray & Small Stock Pot

For Gravy
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4-5 cups of Turkey Stock (homemade is best)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay turkey pieces on sheet tray, rub with olive oil, a sprinkle of dried sage and salt and pepper. Roast on middle rack of oven, uncovered. After 20 minutes, open oven, add a little water to bottom of pan so juices and drippings to not burn, but rather caramelize on bottom of pan. Turn pieces, twice in an hour, checking to see if you need to add a little more water. When pieces are nicely roasted about 1 hour – pull them off tray and add a little more water – scrape all brown bits and liquid off tray and into a ramekin. This is the “gold”. Refrigerate and save until ready to make gravy. Doing this step a few days in advance is fine.

In a separate small stock pot, in a little olive oil sauté the carrots, celery and onion. Nestle in the roasted turkey parts and cover with water by a few inches. Simmer for 3 hours until you have a richly colored and good tasting stock. Strain and pull turkey meat off legs (the meat is good for a turkey sandwich)! Cool down the stock and then refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to make gravy, warm stock in one pan and then combine in large saucepan melt 1/3 cup butter, when melted add 1/3 cup flour, whisk constantly into a blond roux. At this stage, whisk in ramekin of pan drippings, your “gold”. Once combined, start ladling in a ladle of stock at a time until gravy is made –taste and season with salt and pepper. Let gravy cool down and then refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap touching top of gravy until ready to reheat. Reheat when ready to serve over low heat. Keep a little extra stock on hand to thin out if needed. 

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