How To Make Turkey Gravy from Drippings
If you’ve been wondering how to make gravy that really brings out the flavor of your holiday bird this year, let Chef Jamie Roraback from Lincoln Culinary Institute show you the way! The secret’s in using drippings from the turkey itself, so be sure not to discard those drippings during the roasting process. See the whole process from start to finish here:
Video Transcription - How to make gravy
(Video transcribing by Speechpad)
And we're going to begin the gravy process here. So if you see, it's a lot of beautiful goodness. Now, I could have put vegetables in here, such as mere celery and any carrots, but I hope you find you get better quality fun just doing what we did. Oiling the turkey, a little salt, everything is good.
What we want to do is now recover a lot of these juices and fat. So we're just going to add either chicken broth or, in this case, water. We want to dissolve all that stuff that's in there. So you're going to need to work on it for a minute. Take a spatula or rubber scrapers I have here, but we do want to dissolve all of this. So all of this becomes one homogeneous mixture, and your dishwasher will love you, because all of your pans will be nice and clean. So we're going to work on this for a minute and really scrape it really nice and clean.
So now, we've scraped all of these pan drippings using water or it could have been chicken broth, but there's so much good flavor there. I don't think you really need to actually use the broth. So that's all nice and clean. And what we're going to do is we're going to strain this now. I want to get all the bits and particles out of here. So we're going to go ahead and pour it right through.
And you will want something ideally, something relatively tall, slightly narrow, and the reason is we want to separate the grease from the actual broth. We're going to use the actual fat to make the thickener, the roux, and then the liquid is going to become the component for the gravy. So again, our pan is nice and clean. We've got all the flavor out of there, and your dishwasher will love you, because it's not so hard to wash.
So this mixture has now settled a little bit. You'll see there's a nice natural separation between the stock or the broth and then the grease on top. We actually want that grease though. That oil or fat is going to actually be...it's what's going to constitute our thickener for the sauce. We make a simple thing called a roux. So I'm going to transfer this fat into a separate pot, getting it all. So we're doing this skimming technique, where we're just getting the ladle a little bit below the surface.
Sure, there's all kinds of gadgets you can buy, but sometimes just using what you have is usually a better case as for professionals tools. So I've got most of the grease off. That should be in a pretty good shape. We're going to heat that up now to start to make our roux. The remaining liquid, we're going to pour in a separate pot to bring that to a boil, so we can make our gravy. Beautiful color.
So now, we have that grease that's now heating up from the turkey roasting. We're making something called roux. We're just going to basically add a little bit of all-purpose flour. It's really a judgment call. It's not an exact science, but what we're going to do is we're going to add enough of this flour to make it a paste-like consistency.
You can use a whisk certainly to do this, but I want to get it to the point where it's gotten to the point where it looks a little bit like a stiff paste, a little stiffer than peanut butter. So we're just going about here with this. But if you take a look consistency-wise, it's turned into a paste. It is important to continue to stir and cook this, because the flour right now smells very raw.
It has a raw aroma to it, which will transfer to the gravy that way. So if you cook this just for 30 seconds or so and make it what we refer to it as a blond roux, it's going to be a little bit darker in color, but it's going to give less of a flour flavor. That's always a big complaint with gravies. But this is actually good, because it's been cooking for a moment. We're in pretty good shape.
Now, if you take a look, we do have the liquid up to a boil now that was from our roasting pan. What we chefs do differently than cooks at home is we actually add our roux often in smaller quantities to our boiling liquid. So we're going to actually add a little bit. We're going to take a whisk. We're going to incorporate it.
That's going to start looking creamier. It's going to have more of an opaque color. But we're going to add a little bit at a time, whisking pretty rapidly to make sure that it all dissolves. And it's a wise thing when you're dealing with roux to actually go ahead and allow this to come to a full boil before you add any more.
I do actually want the sauce to be a little bit thin, because then we're going to allow for reduction, which means to cook it down further. But I'm going to put another down. Now, that first one has been incorporated. We're going to whisk it in a little bit more. Whisk with a sense of urgency. Have a good quality whisk that will actually dissolve really nicely into it. Bring it up to a full boil.
So again, you can judge consistency. So it's getting lightly thickened. Again, that starch is going to take over and start to create a little bit of a sauce. But I still can go a little bit thicker, so I'm going to add the remainder of the little bit of roux I made. You don't really know exactly how much roux. That's why we as chefs prefer to add the roux to the liquid.
If there's extra roux leftover, not a big deal. We can save that to thicken other sauces. So I put that last little bit and incorporate it into it. We're going to whisk that in. And it's going to be to the point now where it's going to take on a little bit of a light gravy consistency. You never want to use roux to the point where it becomes instant gravy. What I want to do is take it to the point where it's just starting to take on viscosity, no longer is watery.
And what we're going to do now is we're going to keep this up at a full boil, turn it down a little bit, so we can skim any foam or impurities. And within five minutes, we're going to have a nice consistency gravy, what the French call nappe, to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
So now, the gravy is reduced down, or in the French classic cool kitchen, we call this a ballotine, turkey ballotine. At this point is when you want to taste it and make a judgment for flavor. There may well be some salt flavor, because we rubbed the turkey down with a decent amount of salt. But we need a little bit here, so I'm going to go a little pinch of kosher salt, a little bit of black pepper. Classic French roux would always go with white pepper, but we're in America, so we'll add this to it.
And if you look at the consistency now, it's not super thick, but it's definitely nappe. It's no longer pouring like water. It's got a light viscosity. It's quite gorgeous. A lot of chefs in the industry will sometimes make their gravy a little bit darker. I wouldn't mind this to be a slight bit darker. Sometimes you would use a pinch of soy sauce. This is actually a product that's called caramel color with various brand names, but it just gives you a little bit more richness if you decide to make it a little bit darker. That's a personal decision.
But it's a beautiful gravy using all the pan drippings. We didn't use any bouillon cubes or any broth from a can. It had all the flavor in there in its own right. Thank you very much for watching. I'm Chef Jamie Roraback from the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Hartford, Connecticut.