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Author Notes: This is my grandmother Bammy’s gravy recipe. It is so fantastic that the day after Thanksgiving it is the star of our traditional “day after” meal: Bammy’s Turkey Gravy and Waffles. The left-over gravy is stretched and turkey and hard-boiled eggs are added, then it is poured over waffles or cornbread--- clearly just an excuse to eat a plate of this gravy. Last Thanksgiving, I followed her around the kitchen documenting her gravy recipe. She thought it was totally absurd that I was writing down measurements and steps. She claimed she was just making The Gravy. (Which she never let anyone else touch, for fear it would not be to her high standards.) But it is so much more than just gravy, it is a family heirloom. NOTE: I did leave out her secret ingredient- Kitchen Bouquet. It is hard to find and she used just a little bit for color. She would not approve. In fact, she would be mortified. —wanderash
- 2 quarts water
- turkey neck and giblets
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, leaves included, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled, chopped
- 6 sprigs parsley
- 7 sprigs thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons chicken base (bouillon)
- pan rich with roasted turkey juices and bits
- 6-8 tablespoons flour, sifted
- Kosher salt and pepper
- For the stock, combine the first nine ingredients in a pot and let simmer for one hour, or more.
- Pass stock through a fine strainer and reserve the liquid. Trim off all usable meat from the neck. If desired, with a paring knife trim the giblets well. Cut neck meat and giblets into bite-sized pieces and add to stock. Discard all other vegetables and herbs. Cover and put in refrigerator; this step can be done a day ahead. You can use this stock and lots of butter to baste the turkey.
- To make the thickener, put the flour and two cups of the chilled turkey broth in a jar. With the lid on tight, shake vigorously until it is smooth with no lumps. (The stock cannot be hot, or else it will be lumpy.)
- To make the gravy, bring the turkey stock to a low simmer. When the turkey is done, remove it from the pan to rest and skim off most of the fat—but not the turkey juices! Place the roasting pan over a burner or two on the stovetop over medium heat.
- To incorporate the caramelized turkey bits and flavorful juices into the gravy, pour the thickener into the pan and bring to a simmer. Scrape up the bits from the bottom with a rubber spatula.
- While whisking, slowly add the stock to the pan. Whisk continuously until all is added—don’t leave the stove, it is very important that you keep whisking! Return to boil and it will thicken to deeply flavored, silky gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Gravy