Since my last diary post was basically a rant against the current president and administration, and a plea to vote for Biden and Harris, it seems only fitting that I mention the results. Biden & Harris won after several days of agonizing over the count. Larry broke out the champagne at 11:30 Saturday morning when it was finally announced, and we celebrated!
I just realized that it is only 2 weeks until Thanksgiving. I am very grateful for the election results. I am grateful that my family is all safe and healthy. I am grateful for my job and my boss and my co-workers. I am grateful that my husband got a promotion during this pandemic and finally has a boss who appreciates him.
This is always a difficult holiday for me. It was my mom’s favorite, and I miss her. This year it will just be me, my husband, and daughter – possibly a friend as well. A couple of years ago I started inviting friends, but this year, well, it just doesn’t seem like the safest idea. Maybe one though – I have a largish dining room table and if we spread out, I think it will be okay. Maybe. The latest numbers are so scary though.
Regular readers know I like to cook and bake, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared a recipe here. So here is a Thanksgiving gift from me to you.
Gravy. Everyone loves it but not everyone makes it well. It can send people into a panic despite the fact that there are a million recipes online. Here’s one more, and trust me when I say it is the only gravy recipe you will ever use again. I’ve been making this gravy for over 30 years now!
I’m going to make a bold claim, but I stand by it. This recipe is great because you can make it up to three days in advance. It makes a lot of gravy, at least a quart. You can freeze leftover gravy and just reheat it when needed. Best of all, it is so delicious you will wish you could have it on everything. And did I mention you can make it in advance?!!!
Best Turkey Gravy Ever!
Turkey neck & giblets
6 C. chicken stock
1 C. dry white wine or dry vermouth
2 large onions, sliced
1 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. celery leaves & stems
6 Tbs. butter
3/4 C. Flour
Up to 2 cups turkey drippings
Salt & pepper to taste
UP TO 3 DAYS AHEAD:
Take butter out and leave on the counter to soften.
Cut neck and heart in half. Put liver in a small covered dish in the refrigerator. Combine neck, heart, gizzard, onions, carrots, celery leaves, stock, and wine in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours. Add the liver and cook 30 minutes more.
NOTE: If your turkey doesn’t have giblets or is missing the neck, substitute a turkey wing. Don’t cut it off your turkey, just buy one!
NOTE: For celery leaves, cut off the tops of the stalks, celery and all, and chop it all up.
INSTANT POT? You can combine all the ingredients, including the liver, and cook in an Instant Pot for 20 minutes, high pressure, natural release. You can also skip the wine and just use an extra cup of stock or water if you prefer.
Let cool then strain into large measuring cup, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Add water if needed to make 6 cups.
NOTE: When I make this on the stove, I almost always have to add a bit of water. With the Instant Pot, I end up with more than I need. Don’t toss any extra! Add it to the bottom of the pan when you put your turkey in. Or use it to baste the turkey when you run out of butter (I’ve heard that happens to some people.) Or use it to moisten your stuffing and/or dressing. It’s good stuff; you will be happy you have it Thanksgiving day.
Mash softened butter and flour with a fork until well blended to a paste. Divide into 4 chunks. Return strained broth to a 3 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in the flour mixture one chunk at a time until well blended. Keep stirring with the whisk until thick and boiling for three minutes. Press plastic wrap or parchment paper onto the surface of the hot gravy and refrigerate up to 3 days. Then…
Remove plastic wrap and heat on medium-low, whisking occasionally. Whisk in up to 2 cups turkey drippings (skim off the fat if possible). Cook until hot, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.