Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cook's Illustrated's Gravy without a Turkey

Our friends, Russ & Stacey, who live in the Bay Area, did two turkeys for their Thanksgiving crowd. One was smoked, the other baked. With lots of family and children around, Stacey wanted to make it easy on herself and prepared this all-purpose gravy that came from Cook's Illustrated. She emailed to tell me this gravy was just wonderful, and she liked it because it could be made ahead. We all know what it's like in the kitchen during the last hour before Thanksgiving dinner is ready to eat. Great idea, Stacey, and thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to add this to my Thanksgiving repertoire for next year.

With my posting yesterday about Kosher turkeys (and sometimes they're too salty to use the drippings for anything) this gravy would be a great make-ahead dish. One more menu item ticked off the list early. Here's what C.I. has to say about it:

  • This gravy can be served with almost any type of meat or poultry or with mashed potatoes. If you would like to double the recipe, use a Dutch oven to give the vegetables ample space for browning and increase the cooking times by roughly 50 percent. The finished gravy can be frozen. To thaw either a single or double recipe, place the gravy and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan over low heat and bring slowly to a simmer. The gravy may appear broken or curdled as it thaws, but a vigorous whisking will recombine it.

Cook's Illustrated's All-Purpose Gravy

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small rib celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
5 whole peppercorns
Salt and ground black pepper
1. In food processor, pulse carrot until broken into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses. Add celery and onion; pulse until all vegetables are broken into 1/8-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses.
2. Heat butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, add vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and well browned, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add broths; bring to boil, skimming off any foam that forms on surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and add bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer into clean saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Make approximately 4 cups.

Per 1/2 cup serving: 82 Calories; 5g Fat (47.4% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.

1 comment:

kari b said...

We absolutely adore Russ & Stacey! Can only imagine their smoked Turkey in the Big Green Egg.... I just sent an email to Stacey thanking her for sending me to Tasting Spoons!