The Maine Dish
Gravy master: how to achieve thanksgiving menu domination
So much goes into the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner that it often seems like the most important item on the table gets short shrift. In my opinion, no holiday meal looks complete on my dinner plate unless it’s liberally coated (and by “coated,” I mean “submerged in”) gravy. But when you’ve spent fourteen hours cooking dinner and that turkey pan full of pan drippings is staring at you, almost mocking in its greasy diluted uselessness, it’s hard not to just rip a packet of powdered mix and chuck it in the microwave out of spite.
STEP AWAY FROM THE PACKET. I’m so serious about this that for your benefit, I took pictures for just for you today. I even had to restart my iPhone just for the occasion…the glitchy thing couldn’t even handle all the golden brown chicken skin deliciousness that was happening.
So when you’re at the store picking up that extra case of PBRs, grab yourself a $5.00 pack of chicken wings. Toss them on a sheet pan with about a third of their volume of chunked-up aromatics–celery, onion, and carrot–drizzle a little olive oil and salt and pepper over them, and blast them in a 500 degree oven until they’re browned, about 20 minutes. Pull them out, splash a little white wine in there, and scrape up all the flavor stuck to the bottom of the pan. Toss it all into a medium sauce pan, cover it with water by 1″, add some salt and pepper, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain.
Boom. Best stock ever. So you want gravy? Melt a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan for every cup of stock you plan to make gravy out of. When the butter is beginning to bubble, add a tablespoon of white flour and stir the two together for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add your hot stock all at once, whisking the lumps out. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.