Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The day before Thanksgiving (tomorrow), will find me hard at work, baking about a half dozen pies with all three kids, each of whom has a favorite…We will officially start playing the Christmas carols tomorrow, and if we’re lucky, Tim Allen’s Santa Clause movies will be on, later that night. (I usually don’t get to bed, until very late, Thanksgiving night. Hubby, the early riser in the family, usually starts the turkey in the a.m.)
In the spirit of my last post on Julia Child, technical writer, I’m including a couple simple but tried and true recipes, as my way of thanking you for dropping by, and encouraging you to visit again…It makes and has made a difference.
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
This many years into hosting Thanksgiving, I still have trouble coordinating serving everything at the same time, so enter this recipe…It’s a bit of work for just a gravy, but it’s usually a hit.
For me, there’s nothing better than the smell of turkey wings roasting the day before Thanksgiving…and with this recipe, I don’t have to worry about blowing the gravy (like the icing on the cake), last minute, on the actual day…
So, here you go…enjoy…
4 turkey wings (about 3 to 4 lb)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
8 cups chicken broth
¾ th cup chopped carrots
½ th tsp dried thyme
¾ th cup flour
2 Tbsp stick butter
½ th tsp freshly ground pepper
- Heat oven to 400 F. Have ready a large roasting pan, a 5- to 6-qt pot and a 3-qt saucepan.
- Put wings in a single layer in roasting pan; scatter onions on top. Roast 1 ¼ th hours, or until wings are browned.
- Put wings and onions in pot. Add 1-cup water to roasting pan; stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom. Add to pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups), the carrots and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1½ th hours.
- Remove wings. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin; save meat for another use.
- Strain broth into saucepan, pressing vegetables to extract liquid. Discard vegetables; skim fat off broth. (If time permits, refrigerate overnight so fat that rises to the top, solidifies and can be easily removed.)
- Whisk flour into remaining 2 cups broth, until well blended and smooth.
- Bring broth in saucepan to a gentle boil. Whisk in flour mixture and boil 4 to 5 minutes to thicken gravy and remove floury taste. Stir in butter and pepper.
Planning Tip: Freeze up to 1 month. Refrigerate 2 days to thaw. Reheat in saucepan, whisking often.
Note: On Thanksgiving, after the turkey is cooked and removed from the roasting pan, you can skim the fat off the pan drippings and add the drippings to the heated gravy.
The kids help me stuff the celery, each Thanksgiving morning, just before we watch Macy’s Parade. I *love* Macy’s Parade, and some year, we’re all going to see it in person, together.
I’ll always remember the year Murphy, one of my three labs, raided the refrigerator (he could open the door to a previous refrig, with his nose), sometime late Thanksgiving night. He polished off most of the left-over turkey and side dishes there, but didn’t like the stuffed celery, which he left strewn all over my living room carpet.
Given my fondness for the recipe (which I’ve been making some version of since childhood), I was kind of insulted. Maybe you’ll like it better.
Makes: about 3 ½ th dozen
Prep: 20 minutes
1-pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/3rd cups walnuts, chopped
½ th teaspoon onion salt
½ th teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch celery, trimmed, separated into ribs, rinsed, leafy ends kept on
- In medium-size bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese, milk, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, salt and pepper, until thoroughly blended.
- Cut celery ribs into 3-inch pieces. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon of the filling.
- Arrange the celery on a serving platter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.