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  • Post #31 - November 12th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Post #31 - November 12th, 2010, 9:25 am Post #31 - November 12th, 2010, 9:25 am
    I was planning on cleaning and rubbing the turkey with spices on Wednesday and leaving it covered in the fridge until Friday. Is that considered brining or is it known as something else?


    It's not brining. Brining is immersing the turkey in a solution of water, salt, sugar and maybe some spices and letting it soak for a while.

    If you're just going to rub with spices, you migh be better off with a loose cover of foil as it will help dry the skin and make it crispier (I'm thinking of the Zuni Cookbook approach to chicken, where it is air dried in the fridge for a couple of days), but I guess it depends on what you want to do with the turkey skin.
  • Post #32 - November 12th, 2010, 9:50 am
    Post #32 - November 12th, 2010, 9:50 am Post #32 - November 12th, 2010, 9:50 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:for me, the day after is about piling as many leftovers onto a sandwich as possible and topping with gravy :twisted:


    What's your favorite bread for the massive turkey sandwich?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #33 - November 12th, 2010, 10:08 am
    Post #33 - November 12th, 2010, 10:08 am Post #33 - November 12th, 2010, 10:08 am
    Pie Lady wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:for me, the day after is about piling as many leftovers onto a sandwich as possible and topping with gravy :twisted:


    What's your favorite bread for the massive turkey sandwich?


    Sourdough or challah--depends on if I'm in a sour or sweet sort of mood. And light toasting is a must to ensure maximum weight bearing capability :twisted:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #34 - November 12th, 2010, 2:18 pm
    Post #34 - November 12th, 2010, 2:18 pm Post #34 - November 12th, 2010, 2:18 pm
    Rubbing the turkey with spices is not brining. Brining is putting it in a brine containing salt and sometimes sugar and other stuff. I have never done this but might try in the future. I like getting the fresh poutry herbs at the store and rubbing with them and then putting them into the cavity of the bird with a few scatttered at the bottom of the pan. If you baste the turkey with butter then it will drip in the pan and you won't have to add more butter.

    Personal taste but I'm against wine, citrus or other spices such as cloves or cinnamon but others might like it.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #35 - November 12th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    Post #35 - November 12th, 2010, 4:12 pm Post #35 - November 12th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    I saw the ultimate in gravy-prepping-laziness today at Costco in Niles. They were selling jars of McCormick Powdered Gravy Mix. Just add water. I recognized approximately 1/3 of the ingredients on the label. They were serving samples over mashed potatoes, but I couldn't bring myself to try it. Having said that, it's probably just what the OP was looking for.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #36 - November 12th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Post #36 - November 12th, 2010, 4:19 pm Post #36 - November 12th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Hey! I'm not THAT lazy. :P I was thinking more like a better-than-average packaged one that has real food in the ingredients list (there's got to be something out there) or if someone could name a restaurant that has good turkey & gravy on the menu, I could buy a pint from them. Maybe Patty has a good recipe...? But other posters are making me lean in the try-again category. I have a $5 coupon to BBB, I can get a fat separator for under $10.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #37 - November 12th, 2010, 4:47 pm
    Post #37 - November 12th, 2010, 4:47 pm Post #37 - November 12th, 2010, 4:47 pm
    toria wrote:I find gravy making is part art, part science. I think flour will make a thicker opaque gravy and cornstarch will make one that is a little thinner. I think its neat to make your own gravy as it is so much better than anything you can buy. P.S. I do not want citrus or wine in my turkey gravy. I only want flavors of onion, celery and the turkey "herbs".


    I don't think that cornstarch necessarily makes a thinner gravy. I think that the difference is with cornstarch you cannot cook it as long after adding the cornstarch. It is the longer cooking that will thin a cornstarch gravy.
  • Post #38 - November 12th, 2010, 4:56 pm
    Post #38 - November 12th, 2010, 4:56 pm Post #38 - November 12th, 2010, 4:56 pm
    Maybe Patty has a good recipe...?


    If you mean Patty of Patty's Diner...

    I asked her once what was in the gravy for her biscuits and gravy and she told me that it was Old Country Gravy mix. I'm sure with some other things thrown in as well.
  • Post #39 - November 12th, 2010, 9:39 pm
    Post #39 - November 12th, 2010, 9:39 pm Post #39 - November 12th, 2010, 9:39 pm
    Went by the IGA today to pick up some basics, noted two full trays of turkey necks. Couldn't resist. Sooo, this cold, wet Friday evening, our house is redolent, not to mentions has the wonderful aroma, of turkey stock in the making: 3 lbs of turkey necks, couple of onions, couple of carrots, several ribs of celery. We are soooo going to be ready for the gravy phase of things two weeks from now!

    Damn, I think I like the smell in the house nearly as much as the taste in the mouth.... :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #40 - November 12th, 2010, 9:58 pm
    Post #40 - November 12th, 2010, 9:58 pm Post #40 - November 12th, 2010, 9:58 pm
    And, after thinking about it for a moment or two, I thought it might be useful to pass along three things I've learned about making gravy in general, turkey gravy in particular.

    1. Eschew poultry shears. They cost too much money, and they won't do really big turkey necks. Get yourself a decent pair of anvil-type pruners. They'll cut anything on any poultry, including big turkey necks.

    2. Cook your roux for at least 15 minutes, better half an hour. Can't remember where I learned this, Julia, K-Paul, wherever. But only if you cook the roux for a while, can you get rid of the floury taste. Besides, if the roux colors a bit, it'll add depth to the taste of the gravy.

    3. Make sure that all the liquids, stock, etc. that you add to the roux are *hot*. Prevents lumps, it really does. Learned this one from my late, unlamented ex-MIL. But this was one of the things she was spot on about.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #41 - November 12th, 2010, 10:07 pm
    Post #41 - November 12th, 2010, 10:07 pm Post #41 - November 12th, 2010, 10:07 pm
    Geo wrote:Went by the IGA today to pick up some basics, noted two full trays of turkey necks. Couldn't resist. Sooo, this cold, wet Friday evening, our house is redolent, not to mentions has the wonderful aroma, of turkey stock in the making: 3 lbs of turkey necks, couple of onions, couple of carrots, several ribs of celery. We are soooo going to be ready for the gravy phase of things two weeks from now!


    Smart idea! I have to share cooking duties this year with 2 people whose kitchen skills I don't have the greatest faith in. If I make a ton of turkey stock ahead of time, I can at least lay claim to making the gravy, right? :twisted:
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #42 - November 12th, 2010, 11:30 pm
    Post #42 - November 12th, 2010, 11:30 pm Post #42 - November 12th, 2010, 11:30 pm
    Ursiform wrote:
    Geo wrote:Went by the IGA today to pick up some basics, noted two full trays of turkey necks. Couldn't resist. Sooo, this cold, wet Friday evening, our house is redolent, not to mentions has the wonderful aroma, of turkey stock in the making: 3 lbs of turkey necks, couple of onions, couple of carrots, several ribs of celery. We are soooo going to be ready for the gravy phase of things two weeks from now!


    Smart idea! I have to share cooking duties this year with 2 people whose kitchen skills I don't have the greatest faith in. If I make a ton of turkey stock ahead of time, I can at least lay claim to making the gravy, right? :twisted:


    That's my plan--just finalized it with a call to the MIL last night. Last year-- blond, tasteless (except for flour) slop...

    this year...

    "So....should I make the gravy this year? Did I make it last year? No? Well I can if you'd like...ok!

    Sadly, I'll probably be the only one who eats it but who cares...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #43 - November 13th, 2010, 7:26 am
    Post #43 - November 13th, 2010, 7:26 am Post #43 - November 13th, 2010, 7:26 am
    auxen1 wrote:If you mean Patty of Patty's Diner...

    I asked her once what was in the gravy for her biscuits and gravy and she told me that it was Old Country Gravy mix. I'm sure with some other things thrown in as well.
    That's funny considering she makes bread and rolls in-house, but some people just have a 'thing' with gravy. Clancy's Pub now long gone, did a fantastic Friday fish fry and Wednesday fried chicken. Most everything was made in-house including mashed potatoes. Not the gravy though, Clancy's used canned gravy!

    Speaking of gravy mix, the Chicago Tribune did a round up of packaged gravy in last weeks Good Eating section, winner was Knorr Roasted Turkey gravy mix. --> Link

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #44 - November 13th, 2010, 10:36 am
    Post #44 - November 13th, 2010, 10:36 am Post #44 - November 13th, 2010, 10:36 am
    G Wiv wrote:Speaking of gravy mix, the Chicago Tribune did a round up of packaged gravy in last weeks Good Eating section, winner was Knorr Roasted Turkey gravy mix. --> Link
    I was uncertain which one was the real winner, since, at least in the print edition, the photos didn't line up correctly with the texts. My guess was that the texts were correct (name matches the points awarded), and just the photos were messed up.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #45 - November 13th, 2010, 10:50 am
    Post #45 - November 13th, 2010, 10:50 am Post #45 - November 13th, 2010, 10:50 am
    BR wrote:
    seebee wrote:Screw the whole flour, and roux thing. I don't get thick, gelatinous gravy. Never have, never will. Butter makes it the perfect consistency for me. And, oh yeah, it tastes much better than flour too.

    Different tastes and preferences for different folks I guess. I always add flour and make a roux - not to the point where it's the least bit gelatinous or really thick . . . just thicker. Just me, but I hate gravy that's so thin that it all just pours right off the turkey. And as the cook, you're in charge of the thickness and how much flour you choose to add. Personally, I like my gravy to be about as thick as a gumbo (which also contains roux, although typically a much darker roux). And I've never found that the roux negatively affects or masks the flavor of the gravy in any way. But the key is definitely cooking the flour. Otherwise, you will taste the raw flour and that's not good.


    Right on, bro. It seems like opposite of the spectrum of the raw flour, lumpy gravies is to use no thickener at all, which can be just as unappetizing. The major problems I have with gravies that aren't thickened are the texture, and the discoloration between drippings and stock and whatever other liquids; the gravy just doesn't come together or emulsify like a sauce should. 1-2 T. flour with 1-2 T. butter, cooked in a roux (it can be done ahead) and whisked into the gravy, thickens it without creating any gelatinous consistency (besides, if it's gelatinous, perhaps too much fat from the drippings got into the final product?). Anyway, much more than that, it creates a nice, emulsified, even sauce.
  • Post #46 - November 20th, 2010, 9:59 am
    Post #46 - November 20th, 2010, 9:59 am Post #46 - November 20th, 2010, 9:59 am
    Went to Fresh Farms to do pre-Thanksgiving shopping and found that they were selling turkey tails along with turkey necks. Turkey necks make terrific stock but don't have the fat you need to make drippings...so I bought a package of each and am slow-roasting them now to make ahead drippings/fond and stock. I plan to freeze the drippings (in gravy-recipe portions if I get more than one) and can the stock so they can be quickly combined with a roux whenever I need gravy...I found last year that roux-based gravies don't freeze well in the long term.

    Yay!
  • Post #47 - November 20th, 2010, 11:21 am
    Post #47 - November 20th, 2010, 11:21 am Post #47 - November 20th, 2010, 11:21 am
    Michelle, are turkey tails what my Polish grandmother called "the Pope's Nose"? :P Interesting that they'd be sold separately. Sounds like a good idea.

    Tell me about your canned stock: how do you do it? how does it save? and, most importantly, what does it taste like?

    I've made heavily reduced (= a jelly at room temp) stock, poured it into ice cube trays, and then frozen the cubes. That works extremely well. They'll save at high quality for six months, easy. But I'd never thought about canning my own.

    Geo
    PS. I've just returned to Montréal for the American holiday. Turkeys here are out of season—Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October—and wildly expensive, so I'm having my BIL bring a 20-pounder in from NYC. The house will smell *great*, I can't wait.
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #48 - November 20th, 2010, 11:53 am
    Post #48 - November 20th, 2010, 11:53 am Post #48 - November 20th, 2010, 11:53 am
    I like to make the gravy ahead of time. I usually do one of two things:

    1- Roast a duck or chicken the Sunday before Thanksgiving, save the drippings and carcass to make stock.
    2 - Roast the neck and wings the night before and make the gravy while the turkey is roasting.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #49 - November 20th, 2010, 1:14 pm
    Post #49 - November 20th, 2010, 1:14 pm Post #49 - November 20th, 2010, 1:14 pm
    Hi Pie Lady :D


    You can certainly make your own gravy, but I understand if you don't want the extra stress when preparing a huge Thanksgiving day meal. If you do decide to make your own gravy, how about picking up some jarred gravy just to put your mind at ease. This way...should things go south and your gravy becomes a disaster you will have a back up plan. I also like the idea about picking up some homemade gravy from a nearby restaurant. But you could do it!

    Some things I keep in mind when making gravy...

    If you're starting with a roux you will have to determin the amount of stock you'll be adding before you start the roux. Some people use 2 tablespoons fat, 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup of liquid (stock). If you increase the amount of stock for more gravy, just increase the roux mixture to keep the same ratio. This will get you in the ballpark..

    If I'm making a roux the darker I go the more flavor it will have, but the darker the roux the less thickening power it will have.

    I'll start to mix my fat and flour together in the pan and stir constantly, if the roux burns...start over. Once my roux is to the degree of doneness that I want I will start to add the liquid to the hot roux in the pan...but add the liquid in very small quantities at a time and incorporate completly before adding the next little bit of liquid. After all the liquid has been added you can bring to a simmer and continue cooking to the desired thickness, season as you like.

    I sometimes finish the gravy by adding a bit of lemon juice and whisking a cold pad of butter in.


    I also use cornstarch to thicken too. What I've found works good is to have the stock heated up in the pan. I make my slurry of cold water and cornstarch in a coffee cup, stir it completly. Then I add the COLD slurry to the HOT liquid a little at a time, whisking continually. Cook for a bit to remove the "uncooked" flavor. If you heat the cornstarch gravy too much or stir it too much it will start to thin out. Also, if you're adding any lemon juice (acid) do it after it's removed from the heat. One tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of COLD water will thicken about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid.

    Arrowroot is a good thickener too, although I usually>>>>> I probably don't have to tell you how I use arrowroot :wink:




    Once you get comfortable with each you should have no problems making gravy without lumps every time.


    dan
  • Post #50 - November 20th, 2010, 7:27 pm
    Post #50 - November 20th, 2010, 7:27 pm Post #50 - November 20th, 2010, 7:27 pm
    Geo wrote:Michelle, are turkey tails what my Polish grandmother called "the Pope's Nose"? :P Interesting that they'd be sold separately. Sounds like a good idea.

    Tell me about your canned stock: how do you do it? how does it save? and, most importantly, what does it taste like?

    I've made heavily reduced (= a jelly at room temp) stock, poured it into ice cube trays, and then frozen the cubes. That works extremely well. They'll save at high quality for six months, easy. But I'd never thought about canning my own.

    Geo
    PS. I've just returned to Montréal for the American holiday. Turkeys here are out of season—Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October—and wildly expensive, so I'm having my BIL bring a 20-pounder in from NYC. The house will smell *great*, I can't wait.


    Yes, the tails are the Pope's Nose. Great source of fat. This is a first try for canned stock, so I'll let you know on T-day! I saw in the canning thread that this was possible - I usually do the frozen, but we have Bossy III (or is it IV now? I've lost track. Got good guts this year..) and T-Day breads taking up all the freezer space; I thought it might be worth trying.

    However, I think the Pope's Nose gravy starter is working out well: I started a stock on the stove with various poultry bones I'd been saving (more room in the freezer) and then slow-roasted the turkey tails with the necks. When the necks were crispy, pulled them out and tossed them into the stock, and then I skimmed the stock for fat and foam and dumped both over the remaining tails. As the liquid evaporated, I repeated this a couple of times, continuing to roast until the tails were brown and crispy and all the fat from the stock was in the roasting pan - then I deglazed with the stock and dumped it all into my cast-iron skillet. I chopped up the tails a bit to allow them to render further, and then strained them off and reduced the remaining liquid until it was a thick emulsion.

    I plan to freeze the emulsion and then pull some out, toss it in a frying pan, allow any remaining liquid to evaporate, and then make gravy as I would from pan drippings. We'll see how it works!
  • Post #51 - November 21st, 2010, 7:39 am
    Post #51 - November 21st, 2010, 7:39 am Post #51 - November 21st, 2010, 7:39 am
    Im definitely gonna try my hand at gravy from scratch this year, but i also ordered a pint of gravy from ziers meats where i ordered my turkey from. just in case

    im planning on brining and frying my turkey, so im not gonna have pan drippings... is the one set of giblets enough??? or should i get some more?? i kinda wanted to make some stock before thursday. i feel terribly under prepared for my first thanksgiving. lol
  • Post #52 - November 21st, 2010, 8:13 am
    Post #52 - November 21st, 2010, 8:13 am Post #52 - November 21st, 2010, 8:13 am
    Pie lady, you might want to call Williams Sonoma for thier turkey gravy. They tend ot run out a few days before the feast, so do call before you head out. Not cheap but I hear it is pretty good.
  • Post #53 - November 21st, 2010, 9:29 am
    Post #53 - November 21st, 2010, 9:29 am Post #53 - November 21st, 2010, 9:29 am
    notob6, IMO you're going to need more than giblets to make gravy and stock: I'd get some turkey parts, e.g. tails, wing tips, backs anything with a lot of skin, bone and fat (necks are good for stock but not so much for drippings since they usually don't come with skin or fat)

    I think one set of giblets is sufficient to add to a serving of gravy - I usually saute the offal (liver, sometimes heart depending on how tough it is, and any other squishy brown bits without a lot of cartilage - you can pull out the bits left in the back near the thighs if you can reach them; I think those are kidneys) in a frying pan quickly and chop and add to the finished gravy - the gizzard (that's the really crunchy bit with the two lobes and the white cartilage in the middle) and the neck go into the stock for a slow cook.

    See my post above about making extra drippings for gravy. I lucked out with the tails/necks combo at Fresh Farms, but you can use any random turkey parts high in fat, gristle, skin and bone.
  • Post #54 - November 21st, 2010, 9:52 am
    Post #54 - November 21st, 2010, 9:52 am Post #54 - November 21st, 2010, 9:52 am
    Mhays wrote:but you can use any random turkey parts high in fat, gristle, skin and bone.



    Michelle, I *really* think the Management should elevate that to the quote o' the day! It shoots straight to the heart of LTH!

    :P

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #55 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:45 am
    Post #55 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:45 am Post #55 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:45 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I wasn't going to brine, but I do have a question about that -
    I was planning on cleaning and rubbing the turkey with spices on Wednesday and leaving it covered in the fridge until Friday. Is that considered brining or is it known as something else?

    No, that's not brining. Brining is submersing the turkey in salted liquid.

    There is also a technique sometimes called "dry brining," but that's coating the turkey with a heavy layer of salt that later gets washed off.

    If you're going to rub the turkey and leave it in the fridge, you'll get better results if you don't cover it -- let the skin dry out a bit and it will cook up crisper.
  • Post #56 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:13 am
    Post #56 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:13 am Post #56 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:13 am
    I think I saw up post a mention of roasting or baking turkey parts before making a stock for use in gravy.

    With fowl, I've roasted vegetables before making stock but never parts of the bird itself. Always submerge the carcas into water.

    I know that roasting bones is how beef stock is made but wanted to get some perspective on roasting fowl and if this results in a richer broth (stock).
  • Post #57 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:21 am
    Post #57 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:21 am Post #57 - November 22nd, 2010, 11:21 am
    Can drippings be frozen?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #58 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Post #58 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:05 pm Post #58 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:Can drippings be frozen?


    Yes, though I've usually done only fat, not fat plus-still-slightly-liquid deglazed fond. I may make some gravy tonight just to post about it.
  • Post #59 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:07 pm
    Post #59 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:07 pm Post #59 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:07 pm
    Yes dripping can be frozen. I think deglaze the pan with water or stock and freeze. I just saw someone on TV make gravy out of frozen turkey drippings that they added herbs and chicken stock to. Can't remember it if was Ina or Martha or someone but I was surprised.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #60 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm
    Post #60 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm Post #60 - November 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm
    Auxen, in my experience, stock from roasted bones and stock from whole poultry are two different things. First of all, different bird-parts will get you a different stock: the gelatin content and flavor of a whole-bird stock can't be matched. However, I often make a very good stock with chicken feet and backs - the feet provide the gelatin, and the backs the flavor (tried a stock with just feet - delightfully gruesome in the pot, thick and silky in texture, but not a lot of flavor.) Necks, in combination with other bones, do a good job, too - but it helps to have something with skin on it as well.

    I save all our cooked chicken bones - I don't know if this is the case for everyone, but I find they make a rich dark stock - but somehow lose the gelatin content, so it can be somewhat thin. However, in those cases I'm typically using relatively bare bones, so that could also account for the texture difference.

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