(Make-Ahead) Homemade Gravy

Gravy is one of my favorite components of Thanksgiving dinner. I like to drown my turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and countless other things in its decadence. And then of course I use my dinner roll (more accurately, my 2nd or 3rd dinner roll) to soak up any leftover gravy and bits of food on my plate. (Quick aside – I do this all the time, use bread to wipe/soak up any remnants on my plate. I’ve been told by others it’s an Italian thing. True?) Okay, back to gravy. LOVE gravy, but hate making it with drippings. With everything else going on as soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, I feel like getting the gravy finished unnecessarily heightens Thanksgiving stress levels worldwide. Enter this awesome recipe for a thick, creamy and flavorful gravy but without having to wait for the turkey to come out of the oven. It’s another recipe I discovered last Thanksgiving, and now it’s a staple.

You can go about this two ways: (1) If you are resourceful and you used the scraps from last year’s turkey to make homemade turkey stock and have it stashed away in the freezer, you can definitely put that to use here. (2) If you’re like me and don’t want to do one more ounce of work after the table is cleared (a.k.a. you didn’t make homemade stock last year), you can buy turkey or chicken stock from the store for this recipe. Since the stock is ready, you can go ahead and whisk together this gravy right before serving the meal or (my preference) make it the day before, let it cool, refrigerate it, and then warm it up in a saucepan when you’re ready to serve dinner. (You may have to drizzle in a little extra stock to thin it out if it got too thick in the fridge.) Additionally, you could make it even further in advance, say this week, and instead of refrigerating it, put it in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. Take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the day before Thanksgiving, and then proceed with the heating up/thinning out as I mentioned above.

I LOVE gravy, but I don’t love the headache and stress of whipping it up while everyone is waiting to eat. This recipe is the perfect solution, and did I mention delicious?? Perfectly seasoned and a great accompaniment to the turkey and all the trimmings.

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Homemade Gravy

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

1½ cups finely chopped yellow onion

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups turkey or chicken stock, heated

1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy (optional)

1 tablespoon heavy cream


Directions:

1. In a large (10- to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions on medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. (Don't rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well cooked.)


2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and Cognac, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the cream and serve. (Alternatively, you can cool the gravy and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and warm up over low heat before serving. Add a splash or two of chicken or turkey stock to thin out, if needed.)


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(Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)


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