If you want perfect turkey gravy for your Christmas dinner, read on for tips and techniques to achieve gravy success every time.
Heat 1 litre of turkey stock, chicken stock or water (or a combination of stock and water) in a saucepan until hot but not boiling.
Any type of liquid can be added to a roux to make gravy, including the stock or dripping from beef, pork or chicken. When roasting a turkey, use the drippings from the roasting tin and turkey stock to make the gravy. In a pinch, you can use chicken stock from stock cubes - but then be sure to watch the salt!
Transfer the cooked turkey from the roasting tin and set it on a cutting board to rest. Remove as much grease or fat as possible from the tin using a spoon, ladle or gravy separator. Reserve 4 tablespoons of fat.
Place the roasting tin over two burners on the hob over medium heat. Deglaze the pan by adding 125ml water or other liquid (white wine, turkey or chicken stock). Stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits. Pour off the liquid from the roasting tin into the saucepan of hot stock.
Add 4 tablespoons reserved fat to roasting tin over medium heat. Whisk in 4 tablespoons plain flour. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until the flour loses its 'raw' smell and the mixture becomes golden in colour. Cooking the flour enhances the thickening power of the roux and adds colour and a nutty flavour to the gravy.
The trick to avoiding lumps is to cook together equal parts of flour with a fat, such as clarified butter, vegetable oil or dripping. This mixture is known as a roux and serves as a thickener for gravy. As a general rule of thumb, a 8 tablespoons of roux will thicken 1 litre of liquid.
Whisk in the hot turkey stock and pan drippings and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed gravy boat or serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped sage, if desired. Other herbs and spices may suit your tastes as well; experiment with a pinch of cloves, a sprinkle of thyme and a touch of mace.
Check out our Turkey gravy recipes for delicious ideas!