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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Herb & Roasted Garlic Turkey Gravy

Gravy.  It's either a staple at a holiday table or completely left out of the party.  Then if you do partake, you have two camps...pre-made or homemade.  Both will make their points passionately as to which is better.  Pre-made's say it's easier for what ends up being a sometimes under used component of the meal and homemade's say the jars/cans/mixes are full of stuff you don't want to eat and it doesn't take much to make homemade.  I can see both sides of the coin but I've gotta say, especially if I'm making my "leftover" turkey (we do one all for us to enjoy throughout the winter) I'm going to make this gravy every time because it freezes beautifully.

What you'll need:

2-3 cups turkey drippings with neck meat
3-4 tablespoons light butter (or unsalted if you prefer)
1/4 cup flour
1 head garlic
1 sprig rosemary
3-4 sprigs thyme
black pepper to taste

Come this time of year, I always have a goodly amount of herbs left in my well intentioned container herb garden and it comes in handy for recipes like this.  But of course you can always find packaged fresh herbs in the grocery stores these days.

First you'll need to preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the tops off your head of garlic and wrap in foil.  (You can add olive oil like many say but it is totally unnecessary and adds extra calories.  I'd rather have some whipped cream on my pie)

Bake for 45-50 minutes.

In my 'leftover' turkey, I got 3 cups of turkey drippings left between the 1/2 cup water I added prior to roasting and what came off the bird.  I roasted the neck under the bird in the juices so by the time it was done, I just needed to pull the bones out and throw them away.  I refrigerated the drippings overnight so the fat would rise to the top and solidify.

Ain't nobody wanna eat that!

With a spoon, gently score the edge of the fat cap and wiggle the spoon under it to lift it out and discard.

I know, that gel looking texture doesn't look appetizing at all but it's nothing 30-60 seconds in the microwave won't cure.

I made a bouquet garni out of the rosemary and thyme by laying the longest thyme sprig horizontally and laid the other thyme and rosemary on top and tied it so they would stay together while cooking.

Time to make a roux.  Now I'll warn you that light butter, while it has half the calories of regular butter, will thicken quicker than regular butter so your roux could lean toward crumbly.  That's totally okay.  If you go with full fat butter, try browning it first for an even deeper flavor!  (Light butter doesn't brown much, I've tried, it just kind of evaporates.)

In a saucepan, melt your butter on low-ish heat.  (3-4 on the dial)

Time to add the flour and give it a whisk until it comes together.

Typical roux's will be more wet but this won't result in lumpy gravy, I promise.  ;-)

Time to add your drippings!  Then give it a whisk until the roux breaks up.

Add black pepper to taste and your herbs.

Cook over medium heat until it thickens, stirring every minute or so.

When it's slightly thickened, you can turn it down to simmer and tend to your last minute tasks making sure to occasionally check back to give a stir.

When you're ready to serve, remove the stems of the herbs.

See that roasted deliciousness?  Squeeze it into a small bowl and mash it.  If you've never made roasted garlic before, trust me, it's worth it.  It does not impart a garlic taste as that fades and gives way to a rich, buttery texture with a hint of garlic that makes anything taste better and more gourmet.

Add it to your gravy and give a stir before transferring to a mason jar or your gravy boat.  (Make sure you clean the gravy boat know dang well you haven't used it in a year..HA!)

It makes the most well intentioned but driest turkey taste moist and the most plain potatoes taste rich and delicious.  A roll is also quite happy to sop up the rest for you.

Makes 8 servings

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  1. I am lucky enough to be able to vouch for this. Yep, it's all good people I took one for the team and I can tell you this is definitely the gravy you want to make for the holidays!

  2. That looks so good!!! I will definitely try it with our spare turkey!

  3. That looks so good!!! I will definitely try it with our spare turkey!

  4. I admit, I had to laugh at your intro. In the south, gravy isn't a condiment - it's a beverage! *lol* I wouldn't consider pre-made and I always make plenty because it is awesome on a turkey sandwich. :-)

    Hope you have a great day!

  5. Wow, that looks so pretty! And the ingredients are things you can find/have so it's very doable no matter where you live. Another keeper!!


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