Leftover broccolini, reheated in a pan
One slice fresh mozzarella cheese
Apple slices & peanut butter
Fancy olives leftover from Thanksgiving.
Probably the portion-size that I disagree the most with is ice cream.
—Me, while serving up dessert.
If I have to delete ONE MORE EMAIL with “Cyber Deals” in the subject line, I’m going to shoot a bitch.
Marijuana is the everyman drug.
—Excerpted from a student paper, handed in several weeks late.
This year, I learned to make gravy. Not that I haven’t made gravy before, a thousand million times. I’ve hosted Thanksgiving more than once, and roasted my fair share of chickens, and reduced the drippings from countless roasts into gravies that were more than passable—delicious, really. But you know when you let gravy cool, and it congeals and the fats separate to the top and there’s no WAY you’re ever getting good leftover gravy out of that Tupperware container? I can’t be the only one suffering from poor gravy leftovers over here, right?
So this year, I set out to do it right. No congealing. No fats floating to the top. No giblets bobbing in and out, in and out of the thickly bubbling liquid, when we all know damn well giblets should only go in stocks or fried up on the plates of old Southern men. So I turned, of course, to Alton Brown, whose food science-y ways can’t be beat when it comes to finding out how to do things the proper way. So here, without further ado, is my recipe for “proper gravy,” not that gelatinous stuff your mom must have served you, too, on Black Friday turkey sandwich leftovers.
Roasting pan full of delicious juices*
3 cups homemade stock (Just trust me on the homemade.)
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup flour
chopped herbs (optional)
Place roasting pan over medium-high heat and add stock and red wine all at once. Whisk, while scraping those brown bits off the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes to reduce, then transfer to a gravy separator or other container to separate. If you’re short on time, placing the container in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes will bring the fats to the top more quickly, but I usually find it separates out fairly easily.
Return 3/4 cup of the fat back to the heat (I use another pan, to keep it clean), and rewarm if needed. Add the flour to make a roux, bearing in mind that a roux should be the consistency of cream of wheat, not dough (i.e. a little wetter is better). Cook a few minutes, until it smells nutty.
Gradually add the liquid that you separated from the fats, whisking and cooking 5-6 minutes, until thick. The gravy should be slightly thinner than serving consistency, as it will thicken on the table. Season to taste with salt and pepper (likely unnecessary if your stock and your turkey was seasoned to begin with) and add fresh herbs, if you’d like to.
Serve in a gravy boat, because in my old age I’ve come to love a gravy boat, but add a small ladle. Nobody likes a messy gravy boat. Or is that just me?
*This recipe should work just as well for chickens, pot roasts, or Cornish game hens—or any other kind of meat you think is begging for a gravy. If you’re doing this for a pot roast, use beef stock instead of chicken/turkey stock.
The struggle of low-income workers, many in retailing, is adding momentum to efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.
And this. This is why you are able to grab all those deals on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Oh, dear.
I have some extra time and a chicken carcass, so I’ll make some fresh stock to use for tomorrow, too.
—Text from me to this year’s Thanksgiving hostess, regarding tomorrow’s meal (obviously).