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Recipe: No-grief gravy can be made in advance

Sure, you can make your Thanksgiving gravy the traditional way from the turkey pan drippings. It’s great if you want to do that and have the time.

But sometimes making gravy can bring grief — when you end up with a greasy, lumpy mess, instead of a glossy, smooth gravy.

I’ve resolved to always make gravy in advance. It gives me a head start on dinner, and I love how it turns out.

Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit — one of the most important added steps involves de-fatting the strained broth by putting it in the freezer. On Thanksgiving Day, if you don’t want to waste the pan drippings from your cooked turkey, add them to the gravy to enhance the flavor.

MAKE THIS gravy up to 3 days in advance. It can also be frozen. The consistency is thick, but can be thinned with turkey drippings.

MAKE-AHEAD TURKEY GRAVY

By Susan Selasky

  • 4 turkey wings (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 medium sweet onions, peeled, cut up
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place turkey wings in roasting pan; scatter onions on top. Roast 75 minutes, or until wings are golden brown.

Put wings and onions in large stockpot. Add water to roasting pan; stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom and add to pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups), carrot and thyme, if using. Simmer, uncovered, 90 minutes.

Remove wings and let cool. Remove and discard skin; reserve meat for another use.

Strain broth into fat separator or into a bowl. Let sit 10-15 minutes until fat rises to the top. Pour de-fatted broth into a saucepan. (Or, put bowl in freezer. The fat will rise to the top and become solid. What’s left underneath will be jelled, which is what you want. Place jelled broth in saucepan.)

Bring broth to gentle boil. Remove 2 cups reserved broth from refrigerator and stir in flour until well blended and smooth. Whisk mixture into broth in saucepan and cook 5 minutes to thicken gravy and cook out the raw flour taste. Stir in butter and season with pepper. Add fat-skimmed drippings from a freshly roasted turkey, if desired. Makes about 8 cups.

>> NOTE: Gravy may be frozen up to a month. Thaw and reheat.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per 1/4-cup serving: 26 calories, 1 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 258 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol, no fiber.

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