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Easy gravy recipe for Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving gravy.

Thanksgiving gravy. Credit: Marge Perry

Making gravy intimidates even experienced cooks — but it shouldn’t. These simple tricks make it easy to make the luscious gravy everyone wants to excessively spoon over mashed potatoes, stuffing, and yes, turkey.

There are three keys to ensure you get all the flavor and no lumps.

1. Use pan drippings. Pan drippings give gravy its flavor. Sure, it would be great to make it in the turkey roasting pan, where all those tasty little bits on the bottom add flavor, but that can be logistically difficult. (You have to transfer the turkey, place the large roasting rack across two burners, where it will heat unevenly, and so on.) Instead, scrape up as much as you can from the bottom with a wooden spoon, then spoon all the drippings into a fat separator.

The fat separator is an inexpensive cup that looks like a measuring cup — but the pour spout comes from the bottom of the cup. When the fat rises to the top, the pour spout allows you to pour all the precious pan juices into a manageable saucepan.

2. Make a slurry. Simply combine equal amounts of flour and liquid to form a smooth paste. Once the slurry is smooth, you can stir in a little more liquid to make it looser. This is how you prevent lumps.

3. Stir. Once you add flour to the liquid, you need to stir it constantly to be sure the flour doesn’t settle on the bottom, thicken and form lumps. It only takes a couple of minutes and you can do it while the turkey rests and the sides are heating up in the oven.

By the way: do not fret if you don’t have enough pan drippings: augment them with chicken stock. And, if you prefer to not use butter and/or shallots, omit that step or replace the butter with 1 tablespoon canola oil.

Thanksgiving Gravy

Reserved defatted pan drippings

½ to 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, as needed

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/4 cup dry sherry wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine reserved pan drippings with enough chicken broth to equal 3 cups.

2. Stir the flour into 3 tablespoons of the broth until the mixture is smooth.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until it is nearly evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Pour in the drippings-broth mixture and bring to a boil. Whisk in the flour mixture (slurry), return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.

Makes about 3 cups

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