A gravy is made by thickening juices from a roast with flour. Making a generous amount of well-flavored turkey jus or gravy involves a paradox: If the turkey is properly cooked or if it is stuffed, it will release little in the way of juices. When overcooked, as most turkeys are, it will provide plenty of juices for your gravy. If the turkey has released an abundance of juices—a couple of cups (
If you’ve cooked your turkey just right, you won’t see much in the bottom of the pan and what there is won’t have a whole lot of flavor. To get the most flavor out of a small amount of juices, boil down the juices until they caramelize on the bottom of the pan, pour out the fat (or leave a few tablespoons in the pan if you’re making a roux), and deglaze the pan with stock. Use only as much stock as you need to serve the guests at hand—about
Generally, when preparing a jus, you want to eliminate as much fat and grease as possible so the jus is clean and not oily. The trick for this is to caramelize all the juices on the bottom of the pan so the liquid fat ends up floating on top. Once the fat has been removed, an emulsifier can be used to thicken or add texture to the jus. An emulsifier should never be added too early or it will emulsify in the grease.
Sometimes, however, you may want to incorporate particularly delicious fats (foie gras comes to mind) into a jus. Incorporating clarified butter, beurre noisette, or ghee has long been thought impossible, since, unlike whole butter, they contain no emulsifiers and just sit on top of the sauce like an oil slick. However, there are a couple of approaches to emulsify in the clarified butter. One is to add a small amount of liquid lecithin (2% of the weight of the fat) to the fat along with a small amount of propylene glycol alginate (0.5% the weight of the liquid) to the liquid base.
|roast turkey, giblets roasted in the pan with the turkey|
|flour or wondra (for gravy)|
|turkey or chicken stock or water (if there are insufficient juices)||up to
|cold butter, sliced (optional)|
|liquid lecithin (optional)|
|beurre noisette, melted|
|propylene glycol alginate (optional)|
|salt and pepper||to taste||to taste|
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.