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Gravy for turkey

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November 19, 2007

Serves 10

Gravy is made from the cooking juices in the roasting pan, which need to be skimmed of excess fat. Add some boiling water to the pan to release all the sediment, then stretch it with chicken stock. There are many ways to thicken gravy, which include using arrowroot or cornstarch. Flour works well too. Here it is made into a paste with soft butter. Whisk the paste into the simmering liquid and it thickens to a syrupy consistency, ideal for spooning over turkey and stuffing.

Pan juices from roasting the turkey
3 cups boiling water
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 cup red or white wine, port, or sherry
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup flour
1. Remove the bird from the roasting pan and set it aside in a warm place. It can sit for up to 30 minutes without harm.

2. With a slotted spoon, remove the root vegetables from the pan. Pour in the boiling water and scrape the sediment on the bottom to release it. Set a strainer over a large, wide saucepan. Tip the juices from the roasting pan into it.

3. With a large metal spoon, skim as much fat as possible from the surface of the juices. You may have to discard more than 1 cup; keep skimming off fat until only juices are left. Add the stock, salt, pepper, and wine, port, or sherry. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and let the gravy simmer, skimming the surface often, for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, on a plate with a fork, mash the butter. Add the flour a few spoonfuls at a time, mashing it in until the mixture forms a paste.

5. With a whisk, stir the paste a little at a time into the gravy until it is all blended. Continue simmering the gravy, whisking often, for 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Pour into a gravy boat or bowl. Sheryl Julian

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