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What’s the perfect finishing touch to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in Texas? Gravy of course! Give this delicious giblet gravy a try and you’ll have guests begging you for more!

INGREDIENTS

RICH TURKEY STOCK:

  • 2 fresh turkey legs
  • 2 fresh turkey wings
  • canola or light olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, unpeeled, trimmed, halved
  • 2 carrots, rough chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 quarts water

GIBLETS:

  • giblet packet (removed from turkey cavity)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 stalk celery, rough chopped
  • 1 carrot, rough chopped
  • ½ small onion, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

GRAVY:

  • 4 Tbsp. fat from pan drippings
  • 4-6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups pan drippings & turkey stock
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup turkey stock, at room temperature
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • cooked giblets, finely diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. To make the stock, rub turkey parts lightly with oil and season with pepper. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 1½ hours, or until turkey is browned and cooked through. Take out of the oven and let cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and reserve the meat to use in a casserole or another dish. Place the remaining turkey parts in a large heavy stockpot. (Note: You can also roast a whole turkey, carve it for dinner, and put the leftover parts and bones in the stockpot. Or you can use the skin, bones, and juices from a container of rotisserie turkey breast from the grocery store.)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients for making the turkey stock. If 4 quarts of water do not cover all the ingredients, add more water to cover. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 4 hours, periodically skimming off any fat and froth that rises to the top. Taste after 4 hours, and if still not rich enough, continue cooking to reduce stock until it is rich in flavor. Do not add any salt to the stock!
  3. When the stock is done, set aside to cool, then pour through a strainer or sieve. Remove the skin and bones from the turkey parts and keep the meat for use in another dish or meal. Discard the remaining solids. Let stock cool to room temperature, skimming off any fat that rises to the top as it cools. At this point, the stock can be chilled for up to a week or frozen in airtight containers for 3 months. Chill or freeze in portions that you will use to make gravy or as a base for homemade soup.
  4. To cook the giblets, remove the giblet packet from the cavity of the turkey. This should contain the turkey neck, gizzard, heart, and liver. Set the liver aside. Place the neck, gizzard, and heart in a pot with 6 cups of water. Add the celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook uncovered at a simmer, skimming the froth occasionally. Simmer for 1 hour, then add the liver and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the stock through a strainer or sieve. Let the neck and giblets cool. Remove the meat from the neck to add to your dressing, if desired. Finely dice the remaining giblets to add to your gravy.
  6. After roasting your turkey, remove from the pan and set aside, tented with foil, to rest before carving. Pour the pan drippings into a fat separator or through a fine sieve into a bowl, skimming the fat from the top and setting aside. Pour the remaining pan drippings into a large measuring cup then add turkey stock to make 6 cups.
  7. To make the gravy, place the roasting pan onto the stovetop over med.-high heat. Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of the fat back into the roasting pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any stuck on browned turkey drippings. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly add in the pan drippings and stock, whisking to incorporate. Cook until bubbly and thickening, whisking occasionally.
  8. If the gravy is still not reducing and thickening after several minutes, you can make a slurry with cornstarch and room temperature stock. Mix together well until cornstarch is dissolved, then slowly add a little at a time to the bubbling gravy mixture, whisking to incorporate, until thickened. (Note: Some make gravy way too thick. It should only be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.) Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Add giblets to reheat. Then serve immediately in a gravy boat or bowl.

Source: Plano resident Candice Ort. Candice makes turkey stock to enrich her gravy, because today’s fresh turkeys tend to be leaner and, as a result, give off less juice to work with to make enough rich, flavorful gravy. The good news is the turkey stock can be made way ahead and frozen until Thanksgiving. She says fresh turkey parts are usually available this time of year at Sprouts Farmers Market. Please note amounts are approximate.

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...