November 24, 2007


Thanksgiving was the work of many hands. I grilled the turkey, but I've already told you that you should grill your turkey. This year, I basted it for the last half hour with bourbon, lime juice, and maple syrup; this blackened the skin but was very nice for the breast meat.

The innovation, this time, was gravy. Usually, I don't do Thanksgiving gravy because the grill gives you no pan drippings. But this year, I was also doing a carrot-cilantro soup for starters, and that meant I needed some fresh stock. So, I roasted off an old turkey carcass and an old duck carcass for the stock, and that left the inevitable messy roasting pan.

Which is an opportunity. I poured off the fat and deglazed the pan with tap water, and then again with some white wine. Everything when into a saucepan and stayed there for a few hours. Later, when I had some time, I added a couple of cups of that stock I was making for the soup. I stirred a couple of tablespoons of flour into 2T of melted butter, let it cook for a few minutes, and stirred it into the warmed saucepan. Then, I briskly sauteed a couple of handfuls of sliced mushrooms, and they went into the saucepan. I added a little cream. (No; I forgot. I admit it. But, if you have it on hand, you go ahead and add it. Could've added a little butter right before serving, too.) Strain it into the gravy boat. Done.

I think this is, roughly speaking, sauce supreme. It does go nicely with turkey and potatoes.

Nice thing is, there's nothing really bad in this gravy. A little fat from the pan. Not much. A T of olive oil; they say that's actually good for you. 2T of butter. But nothing really shameful, nothing you wouldn't tell your mother about. Besides, mom can not have the gravy, and maybe then she won't notice the entire 1C of cream and 3T of butter in the rootmoos.

Update: I am severely upbraided over the stovetop stuffing. I meant, "stuffing made in a skillet rather than baked inside the turkey, not a particular brand of stuffing mix. Sorry about the confusion.