Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so I’ve been doing a lot of mental planning this week! Since I figure I’m not the only one with Thanksgiving food on the brain, it seemed like an appropriate topic of choice for today’s post.
And although the turkey (which I prefer to cook in an electric roaster) is the traditional star of any Thanksgiving spread, today we’ll be focusing on a less central, but equally crucial, supporting character. We’re talking gravy folks, and uncovering the simple secret that will help you make your best gravy ever!
The #1 Mistake People Make With Thanksgiving Gravy
In its most basic form, gravy consists of stock and seasonings, often thickened with flour or cornstarch. And if you make it with those elements, you’ll likely end up with a perfectly passable gravy.
But you don’t want “passable” gravy. You want the kind of rich, savory, deeply flavorful gravy that will make you question your stance on how much is appropriate to pour over a single plate of food.
The difference between that gravy and gravy that’s just okay often comes down to what you use to cook it in. And the biggest mistake people make is cooking their Thanksgiving gravy in anything other than the turkey roaster!
The Flavorful Benefits Of Pan Drippings
After cooking your turkey, your roasting pan full of gristle, fat, and turkey bits is perfectly primed for gravy making. All those food bits and cooking residues are going to infuse your Thanksgiving gravy with delicious, savory turkey flavors.
So using the roasting pan to make your gravy not only saves you from needing to clean another pan, it gives you a huge leg up in terms of flavor. Even if you transferred the drippings to a separate pot and made your gravy there, you wouldn’t get as rich a flavor as you would from making it in the roaster.
How To Make Incredible Thanksgiving Gravy In Your Roasting Pan
Step 1 – Empty Out The Roaster
When your turkey is done cooking, transfer it to a platter to rest. Pour the liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan into a bowl, measuring cup, or fat separator and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once the fat has risen to the top, skim it off into a separate container. Keep the remaining liquid to add to your gravy, if desired.
Step 2 – Make Your Roux
Add 1 tablespoon of fat back into the roasting pan for every cup of liquid your gravy calls for. (If you don’t end up with quite enough turkey fat to make this work, add some butter to get the amount you need.)
Plop your roasting pan right on the stovetop over medium heat. Whisk in about 1 tablespoon of flour per tablespoon of fat, and cook the roux until light brown and fragrant.
Step 3 – Add The Liquid
Slowly whisk your liquid(s) of choice into the roux a little bit at a time. Continue whisking until everything is incorporated, and work on scraping up any crispy bits that are still stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4 – Finish It Off
Add some fresh thyme if you’d like, and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Give it a taste, add salt and pepper as needed, and continue simmering until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
Strain the finished gravy with a mesh sieve, then serve immediately. (Tip: Make the gravy at the absolute last minute while the turkey is resting to ensure it’s hot when it’s time to eat.)
Are you a “gravy on everything” eater, or are you more selective?