Monday, November 5, 2012

Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy, Because You Have Better Things to Do

I’m not a big fan of “make-ahead” recipes, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, the less we have to do before dinner, the better. This turkey wing gravy will not only free up valuable kitchen time, but chances are it will look and taste even better than those frantic, last-minute versions.

A world-class gravy, while not a difficult procedure, does require a little bit of finesse and attention to detail. Of course, screaming kids, chatty relatives, and alcohol consumption are the natural enemies of finesse and attention to detail, so for that reason I’m a big fan of this alternative technique.

By the way, as I mentioned at the end of the video, just because you’re making this ahead of time, doesn’t mean you’re throwing away all those amazing pan drippings. While your turkey’s resting (should be at least 30 minutes), pour off the juices, skim off the fat, and add it to your gravy.

For this reason, I’ll generally make the gravy a little thicker than I want, knowing I’m going to dump another cup or so of liquid in later. Speaking of thickness, as with all the sauces we do, you are in complete control. If you want thicker gravy, use more roux and/or reduce further. If you want something a bit lighter, use less roux and/or more stock.

Either way, making the turkey gravy ahead of time is just smart logistics, and frees you up for more important things, like watching football and fishing for compliments. I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

For the stock:
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 large turkey wings
10 cups cold water (1 or 2 to deglaze the pan, and 8 to add to stock)
4 springs thyme
2 cloves garlic, optional

For the gravy:
2-3 tablespoons reserved turkey fat
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
about 6 cups reserved, strained turkey stock
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

View the complete recipe