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So, does it drive you crazy trying to keep gravy hot during Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday turkey dinner? Nothing worse than cold gravy on stuffing, right? I finally decided I would put away all my fancy gravy boats and get a couple of inexpensive thermal ones seen in the photo below – one for each end of the table. They have a lid on them and keep gravy warm for an entire meal. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

The Gourmet Review | Best Food Blog | Best Recipe Blog

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

My mother was famous for her gravy. She would love the fact that two more generations are enjoying her recipe every time we sit down for turkey dinner. This is especially true during the holidays.  I’ll share some of her tips.

Before I forget, however,  I need to admit that even though I knew HOW to make a great gravy, I still had a problem having ENOUGH gravy for people to take home with leftovers. That was the first challenge.

Then there was the last minute  mess that’s involved in  making gravy. That was the second challenge. Sometimes I think it’s a miracle when all the food actually gets on the table warm.

Kathy Casey, who is a wonderful professional chef, gave me the answer  to both problems in a newspaper column on holiday shortcuts many years ago. The secret is making 95% of the gravy 3 days ahead. How so, you ask? Well, I’m going to tell you.

First, though, I must warn you. This is not a recipe that will give you exact proportions. I’ll try to get as close as possible, but you will have to adjust for the number of people, as I don’t cook precisely. So here goes.

SERVES  More than you will need!

INGREDIENTS

4 turkey necks *

Gold Medal Wondra quick mixing flour (Do not substitute regular flour if you want to avoid lumps).

Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce  (This comes in a bottle in the spice section of the grocery store).

DIRECTIONS

Put the turkey necks into a 6-8 qt stockpot and cover with water. (No extra herbs here. Just keep it simple.)

Boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 8 – 10 hours. This is not precise. You will soon begin smelling the aroma of turkey in the kitchen  and this really gets you in the mood for the big meal.  I like to start this process in the morning, so I can take the pot off the stove before calling it a night. Cool.

Remove turkey necks, which will be falling apart, out of the stock. Pick the meat off the bone with a fork and discard all but the tender meat.  Put in ziplock bags in the refrigerator.

The next morning, skim the fat from the top of the stock. Set aside.

Now to start your gravy.  Warm up your turkey stock (from cooking the turkey necks the day before).

Start by mixing 1/2  cup of Wondra flour with water. Keep mixing and adding water until the mixture has a liquid consistency. Pour into cooking pot. The flour mixture will start to bubble.

Add stock and start building your sauce. As it gets too thin,  mix more Wondra flour and water. Add to pan. As mixture thickens, add more stock. You will continue to alternate flour and water mixture and stock until you have built up a large pot of liquid.

Then add  Kitchen Bouquet in small amounts until the mixture is dark brown. Finally, add the meat from the turkey neck, along with salt and pepper.

Now, this is beginning to look like gravy, but don’t taste or eat it yet, as it has no flavor. Put back in the refrigerator and warm up just as the turkey is finished cooking. (Keep in the refrigerator for several days until ready to pull the turkey out of the oven ).

Warm the gravy mixture on top of the stove. Transfer the turkey to a carving platter. Drain all the juices, including the good stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan, into a gravy separator. If you don’t have one of these, just drain off the fat and pour the drippings into the gravy mixture. Seasons with salt and pepper. Voila! Easy as can be.

NOTE

I put the hot gravy into thermal containers at each end of the table and the gravy stays hot throughout the meal. No getting up to replenish as the gravy gets cold.

Once you have seen how easy this recipe is and how it can all be done in advance, you will never make last minute gravy again. Hopefuly my family won’t see this, but if I have gravy left over, I will pour into a large ziplock bag, toss in the freezer, and just use this as a base for the next time I make turkey (as in Christmas after Thanksgiving). Add some water/chicken stock after thawing and heating up. Once again, combine at last minute with turkey drippings and you have about the easiest, best gravy in the world.

*   These are hard to find. Don’t look for these  at Whole Foods. Maybe  Albertsons, Safeway or a similar grocery store and order several days ahead of when you will need. Four necks will make LOTS and LOTS of gravy. Depending on whether you have a large or small crowd, adjust the number of necks. Trust me, I was skeptical of the neck ingredients as well, but this is absolutely delicious gravy.

– The Gourmet Review

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