The Thanksgiving Collection
How you doin’? There are so many important parts to a classic Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner—and you don’t want to miss any of them. Just think, what would turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes be without a classic gravy made with the turkey giblets. Giblet gravy, a gravy made with the choicest pieces of the bird, is considered the queen of gravies.
Turkeys were plentiful in jolly ole England before 1550. They arrived there having made their way to Europe on Spanish ships transporting them from the new world. The Pilgrims and other British colonists already had recipes for turkey before they landed in North America.
Back then, it was like shooting turkeys in a barrel--they would find flocks of up to 5,000 wild turkeys gathered by rivers and streams… a veritable feast for the starving colonists. In addition to boiling, frying, and baking them, roasting was one of the most common means of preparing turkey in colonial times.
Amelia Simmons’ recipe in American Cookery calls for stuffing the bird with bread stuffing, roasting, and basting it. In what may have set the precedent for the modern Thanksgiving Day dinner, Amelia instructs her reader to cook and serve the turkey with cranberry-sauce, and mashed potatoes and gravy, of course.
This is my recipe for Giblet Gravy. It is very rich and delicious. I love it. I think it’s the best darn turkey gravy, but then that’s what I grew up eating at every Thanksgiving Day feast.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 4-ounce servings
4 ounces turkey giblets, uncooked
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1-quart turkey stock from the blanched turkey
1/3 cup turkey fat (or chicken fat or butter)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups hot stock (from cooking giblets, plus turkey stock or drippings)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
ChefSecret: If planning to make stuffing and gravy using turkey giblets, you may need to ask your meat shop manager to toss in some extra giblets just to make sure you have enough for all you want to cook.
Quip of the Day: “What do you get when you cross a turkey with a ghost?" "A poultry-geist.”
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Have a wonderful safe and healthy holiday. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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