So your bird is in the oven, roasting away, and you’re left with a vacuum sealed bag of poultry body parts – what are you going to do with these? Make a great stock for your gravy, of course. First of all you have to establish whether or not you want to include the liver. I don’t like the flavour of liver, and I know I’m not alone. To be honest, I don’t like offal of any kind, but the flavour of the liver can really dominate a giblet stock so if you’re not partial, you’ll need to identify it and pull it out. Apparently it makes a good pate, if you’re into that kind of thing. Personally I’d give it to the dog or cat as their christmas dinner!
To make approx 1 litre of gravy:-
- Rinse off the giblets under cold running water
- Add to a pan, along with 1 litre of cold water, a roughly chopped onion, carrot, and a stick of celery
- Season with half a teaspoon of black peppercorns, a generous pinch of sea salt, a bay leaf and some dried (or fresh) sage
- Gradually bring up to the boil and leave to simmer gently, covered for 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Skim off any ‘scum’ that floats to the surface, and strain the stock into a jug. Discard the solids
- Allow to stand for a while – any excess fat should rise to the surface. This can be removed with a spoon
- You can make your gravy in a pan, but it’s best to make it in the roasting tin after the bird has been removed – this will pick up any extra turkey goodness and incorporate it into the gravy
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour into the roasting tin and mix in with well with a spoon or whisk to proven lumps. Gently heat the tin on the hob to start to cook the flour out, string all the time
- At this point you can choose to add a little ‘something extra’ to enriched the gravy, such as a glass of marsala, cream sherry or port – entirely optional!
- Gradually add the stock and continue to stir. Bring to the boil – the gravy should begin to thicken
- Pour in any reserved juices from the turkey and season well with salt to taste
- There may be a few lumps (hopefully not from the flour if you were careful with the stirring) – you can choose to sieve the gravy at this stage, or just serve it as it is