Whenever you get a Turkey from the store or the butcher, it's usually accompanied by the giblet packet: a paper or plastic baggie that holds the turkey's liver, heart, gizzard and neck. A lot of people throw this baggie away, I've found, but if you keep it around and give it some doctorin' up, you can make THE BEST gravy to serve with your turkey and mashed potatoes!
Step 1: Supplies
Turkey giblets (heart, liver, neck, and gizzards)
1 small onion, halved and peeled
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 sprig rosemary
3 sage leaves
1 carrot, chopped
A pot for boiling
An extra bowl to strain into
1 cup of turkey drippings
Step 2: Make a Quick Broth
Place all of the giblets into a pot along with one small onion (halved) and one chopped carrot.
Fill the pot with water until it's just covering the giblets.
Add two or three tablespoons of salt (or to taste, if you're watching your blood pressure) along with half a spring of rosemary, three sage leaves and a teaspoon of thyme.
Boil for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
As the mixture boils, you'll notice some fat solids floating to the top of the broth. Just skim those off with a wooden spoon and throw away.
The turkey liver can get bitter of it's cooked for too long... I usually leave it out and sautee it for my husband.
Step 3: Strain Broth
Grab a colander and strain the broth into a separate bowl. Once strained, you can throw away the giblets, aromatics and herbs.
Let the broth cool for about half an hour and skim off any fats that may accumulate on the surface of the liquid.
Step 4: Thicken the Mixture!
This step is crucial to making good gravy, and things can go south very quickly if you're not careful. If you're not confident in your whisking abilities, you might want to get the hand mixer with the whisk attachment out to decrease the chances of error.
Put the turkey broth back in the pot you boiled it in and bring it to a low simmer.
While VIGOROUSLY whisking the simmering broth, SLOWLY add 1/4 c of flour. This will thicken the broth into a rue. Cook for five minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
You can technically have delicious gravy if you stop at this step: just reduce the amount of flour from 1/4 cup to 4 tablespoons.
Lumps can occur in gravy in one of two ways: a.) because of slow whisking and b.) from adding the flour too quickly. If you take your time with this step, whisk quickly and add flour slowly, you won't get lumps!
Step 5: Add Turkey Pan Drippings
This is where a lot of the flavor comes from!
Take one cup of your turkey drippings and SLOWLY drizzle it into your thickened broth mixture while vigorously whisking it all together. It should thin the gravy considerably, but after five more minutes on the heat it should thicken into a delicious gravy consistency!