The Fool-Proof Gravy Guide

1. Make Gravy Broth (can do a day ahead): After turkey goes into the oven, place the neck, giblets and wing tips in a 4 to 6-quart saucepan. Add 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1 large onion, and 2 cloves garlic, all chopped. Cover by 2 inches with 1/2 bottle white wine (inexpensive sauvignon blanc, fumé blanc, or pinot grigio), 2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) canned chicken broth, and water as needed. Simmer, partially covered, 2 to 3 hours. Broth will reduce. Keep solids covered with a little liquid. When ready to start gravy, pour broth through a strainer into a bowl. Discard solids remaining in the strainer.

2. Starting the Pan Gravy: For rich tasting pan gravy, skip additions like Kitchen Bouquet, or salt. Instead, put the turkey juices to work. Skim fat from the juices in the roasting pan.

Set roasting pan over 2 burners set at high heat. Starting boiling down pan juices, scraping up any browned bits with a spatula. Gradually add the strained broth, one cup at a time. After 3 to 4 cups have been added, continue boiling and stirring until you have 2 to 3 cups of rich, deep flavored liquid.

3. No Lumps, Great Taste: As liquid simmers, place one generous tablespoon flour in a tall glass. Avoid lumps by using a fork to gradually beat in 1/2 to 2/3 cup cold water. Beat until there are no lumps. You now have a slurry.

Whisk it into the bubbling pan liquid. Keep simmering and whisking until gravy is smooth and thick enough to lightly coat a spoon.

Taste. If you taste raw flour, simmer another minute. Season if necessary, pour into a sauceboat and serve. Leftover gravy reheats beautifully.

© 2005 Lynne Rossetto Kasper

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