Welcome to Day Two of Thanksgiving week!
In my life, as my arteries can attest to, I have tasted many different gravies. Quite a few are awful. Some are passable. A few have been good. Only one has been excellent – this one.
I can not imagine making a turkey without having this gravy. In fact, in my recipe software (Paprika) has the gravy recipe imbedded in the turkey one.
This rich, dark, flavorful gravy is made from the turkey drippings, butter and burgundy wine.
For those that don’t eat gizzards as a normal course, don’t worry – they are only here to simmer the turkey flavor out of them.
While the turkey is cooking, it is time to start the gravy.
A key to this gravy is making a roux with flour and fat from the drippings. I like Wondra flour as it is very smooth.
Making good gravy is a matter of patience. Adding the liquids a little at a time and scraping the pan back and forth continually will give you a thicker, more flavorful gravy.
As a kid, this job would fall to my brother and I. For the 30 minutes the turkey was out of the oven before the dinner was served, we’d be making the gravy. I disliked the chore but loved the gravy.
You’ll know when it is ready to serve when you scrape the pan and it takes a second or two for the gravy to fill in where you scraped.
Red Wine Gravy
- 2 Cups of Water
- 3 Stalks of Celery
- 2 to 3 Medium Onions
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Dash Bitters
- 6 Tablespoons (or so) of Flour
While the turkey is cooking (at least two hours prior to removal from the oven) boil two cups of water. Add two stalks of celery, 1 medium onion (chopped), bay leaves, salt, bitters and the gizzards (except the liver) and simmer uncovered for 100 minutes. Add the liver and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Strain the simmering gizzards, retaining the liquid and discarding the solids. Drain off the liquids from the “resting” turkey. Separate the fat from the meat juices using a turkey baster, keeping both liquids. Add gizzard liquid to the meat juices and add enough water to make 4 cups of liquid.
Place 6 teaspoons of fat in the turkey pan and heat over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in the 6 tablespoons of flour. Stir to remove the lumps. Add the liquid and stir over higher heat until the gravy thickens. Serve immediately.