Easy and Succulent Thanksgiving: 6 of 7 – The Gravy
By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
Since writing this series on our foolproof and oh-so easy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu (see our recipes for the appetizer, soup, salad, turkey and stuffing), I have been reliving this amazing meal – I can almost smell the savory aroma – and now, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving. I no longer sweat it when having friends and family over because this whole meal is so easy to prepare. And, in fact, my family likes this grand fare so much we repeat it all over again at Christmas.
A big plate of mashed potatoes and gravy makes my son a happy boy. But he can be particular about them. The mashed potatoes can have absolutely NO lumps and the gravy has to be the right thickness. When I first made this gravy, I was thinking that the onions in the gravy would not pass muster, but it turns out that when the onions are thinly sliced and caramelized they add just the right flavor and consistency to the gravy. And the Balsamic Vinegar! OMG! Yum! Needless to say that Chase (the son in question) always looks forward to our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. He would like me to make this gravy all the time and, even though it is easy to make, I do like to keep some things “sacred” just for the holidays.
CARAMELIZED ONION-BALSAMIC GRAVY
- 5 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth with the turkey giblets
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 2 large onions, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Combine turkey neck and giblets, 5 1/2 cups broth and bay leaf in saucepan. Simmer until reduced to 3 cups liquid (about 1 hour).
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions; sauté 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 tablespoon sage and sauté until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in turkey stock. Boil until gravy thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each rosemary and sage.
Transfer turkey to platter. Tent with foil. Pour juices from pan into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat. Add juices to gravy. Add vinegar to roasting pan (I also usually add a bit of water). Bring vinegar to simmer over medium heat, scraping up browned bits and add to gravy. Season with pepper.