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A hallmark of a holiday feast; follow these tips from Chef Michael Cloutier to make your own gourmet gravy.
Tags:How to Make Turkey Gravy,holiday feast,How to Make Gourmet Turkey Gravy,thanksgiving,turkey,Turkey Gravy
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Michael Cloutier: Many people tell me they get nervous when it comes time to making gravy. The roasted meal is ready and hot and now it's time to make that sauce, that's going to make or break your meal. What you want is, your gravy to have great texture, great color and be quick and easy before the rest of the holiday meal goes cold.
Homemade gravy could be difficult to make, sometimes the color is too pale, or the consistency is too thin and even worse, lumpy. And if you do make homemade gravy, sometimes it's not enough to go around.
Here is a great little tip, a chef's trade secret. It all starts with the pre-packaged gravy mix that you can buy in any grocery store. They are blended to ensure that the starches break down quickly and you don't end up with lumps and you get a great color.
There are a number of different gravy mixes you can choose from; and all of them have similar preparation instructions. They tell you to combine the package with one cup of water, stir, bring to a boil in a stove top and it only take five minutes to make.
Now here is the real tip, substitute your one cup of water for turkey drippings. If you don't have full cup turkey drippings, don't worry. Scrape up ping the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bit, where one or two tablespoons of drippings will make the packet of gravy taste like homemade.
Use what you have in a way of drippings, then add the water to make up the acquired liquid. Most turkeys today are raised lean, so you don't even have to worry about skimming off the fat. You won't believe the difference that turkey drippings make, it makes your gravy taste like you made it from scratch.
What I look for in the gravy mix, is something that contains no trans-fat, lower in sodium, no artificial color or flavors and no MSG. If there is no sacrifice in flavor, why not choose something that's better for you?
Each package makes one cup of gravy. So, if you have a lot of people on for dinner, you may have to buy two or three packages, but don't worry, they are not expensive. Now, if you want to make your gravy more gourmet, here are some other tips.
I like to add one tablespoon of dry white wine to turkey gravy. If I were preparing red meat, I would use red wine. Follow the rest of the package directions, stirring on the stove top for five minutes.
Once you start to see how easy it is, to make homemade tasting gravies by combing dry gravy mix with roast drippings, try experimenting with your own creations.
For example, I would like to use herbs in my gravy like thyme, or you could spice it up with garlic, sautéed mushrooms and onions. Gravy is truly the hallmark of a feast and from now on, it's going to be the easiest part of the meal.