1. Heat the oven to 400F. Pat the turkey pieces dry and place them in a roasting pan. Salt and pepper generously. Roast for 90 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through.
2. Remove from the oven and let the turkey cool slightly. Then shred some of the meat from the bones. How much you shred is up to you: If you don't leave anything on the bones it will be to the poverty of your stock. But it is not necessary to leave all the meat on the bones; certainly remove a good deal of it for eating. (I removed a little over half.)
3. Now that the turkey is removed from the pan, you can deglaze all the fat and juices it left behind in the roasting pan. Place the pan on a stove burner over medium-high heat until the fat begins to sizzle. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine (I used dry sherry), a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly and breaking up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. When the pan is clean and only liquid remains, turn off the heat and pour the liquid off into a clean jar or heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate.
4. Place the turkey bones and remaining meat in a 4-quart pot (or larger). Peel and roughly chop the onion. Don't peel the carrots. Chop them and the celery and add them to the pot along with the peppercorns, bay leaf, and herbs, if you're using them. Fill the pot with water.
5. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a full, rolling boil. Reduce the heat until the pot is simmering. Cover, partially, with a lid, and go about your business. Simmer for as long as you can let it go. (This is one of many steps in the process that are really up to you. If you can only cook it for an hour, it won't be as rich, but it will still be wonderful.) It's ideal to let it simmer for several hours at least. Check it frequently, however, and make sure that the liquid level isn't slipping down too far.
When you're done simmering the turkey stock and are ready to make gravy, turn off the heat and strain the broth into a bowl. Press down on the turkey meat and bones to release all the liquid. You should have at least 6 cups of stock ? hopefully more. (This might sound like heresy to some, but honestly, there is nothing wrong with setting your first, richer stock aside and refilling the pot and going for a second round. The resulting stock will be thinner and not as rich, of course, but it's still extremely delicious for soups and other cooking projects.)
6. So now you have your turkey meat, and a big pot of turkey stock. Time to make the actual gravy! If you have refrigerated your turkey stock, scrape any fat off the top and set aside. Measure out 5 cups of turkey stock and set it aside.
7. Add about 1/4 cup fat to a 2-quart saucepan or saut? pan. What kind of fat is up to you. Scrape what you can off the pan drippings you set aside earlier, and augment with fat off the stock, if you have it. Make up any difference with unsalted butter. This doesn't need to be exact; it can be approximate.
8. After the fat foams up in the pan, add the flour.
9. Cook the flour over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When it turns a pale brown, it's time to add the stock.
10. Add about 1/2 cup of the stock and whisk vigorously to smooth out lumps. Add the rest and whisk again.
11. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. (A flat whisk like the one here is very helpful.) When it boils, whisk very vigorously, until the gravy thickens. Turn off the heat. Taste and season, if necessary, with salt and pepper.
12. Depending on how well you strained your stock, there may be bits of turkey in your gravy at this point. If you want to, you can strain the gravy again into a bowl.
13. Let the gravy cool slightly, then pour into a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze. To reheat on Thanksgiving, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat over low heat, whisking to smooth out any separation.
�Calls for 5 cups of stock for 1 quart gravy, because there is inevitably some evaporation. I have often started making gravy with a quart of stock, but ended up with only 3 cups of gravy! This gives you a little room.
� Produces a relatively thin gravy which tastes like turkey, not roux. It won't spread out all over your plate, but it's certainly not thick like pancake batter. Can add a little more flour if you like it thicker
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 cup (100g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 28 (31%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 3.1g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 1.9g||9 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.2g|
|Cholesterol 7.6mg||2 %|
|Sodium 616mg||21 %|
|Potassium 179.8mg||5 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 12.5g||4 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1.7g||7 %|
|Sugars, other 10.8g|
|Protein 1.7g||2 %|
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Calories per serving: 89
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