11/13/11

Make Ahead Gravy for Thanksgiving or Christmas

Perfect Gravy... made ahead to save time and stress

Although we relocated 1000 miles away from 'home' last week, we signed the paperwork to purchase the new home and I've spent hours cleaning, scrubbing, unpacking and repairing....  we are not yet actually living in the house.  It's still a rather nomadic lifestyle as the new home is still sans beds, mattresses, dishes, washer, dryer or even a refrigerator.  I drive to the house each morning and spend the day there but we are still returning to the apartment to sleep each night.

Because our lives have been in such turmoil over the past couple weeks, the fact that Thanksgiving is literally just around the corner has not been first and foremost in my mind.  And Christmas?  Gah.  I didn't give a hint of a thought to that until my oldest daughter texted me to ask what I was getting her sister so we didn't double up.  Christmas?  Gifts?  I've not even thought about it much less bought anything!

Now that I've been made aware that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, it's time for me to try to gear up for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner in between unpacking a kazillion moving boxes, accepting delivery of our refrigerator and other appliances and trying to learn a brand new oven and microwave (this oven has convection capabilities, which I've never used before).   One baby step that will not only help me, but help my readers is my all-time favorite and perfect gravy recipe.  One I've used for twenty years and will probably use for twenty more as it's not only that delicious, but it's easy, makes perfect gravy each time and can be made a week ahead of Thanksgiving or Christmas and then reheated the day of - without lumps, gelling or odd textures!

My Make Ahead Gravy

6 c chicken broth (don't worry, store bought or even water with chicken bouillon is fine)

2 lg. onions, chopped
1 c sliced fresh carrots
1 c water or dry white wine
1/2 c celery leaves and stems

6 T butter with
3/4 c flour

Mix the first 5 ingredients (broth and vegetables) in a soup pan and simmer on low 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a wire strainer and disgard vegetables. Add water if needed to make it 6 cups total.

Mash the 6 tablespoons butter with the flour until it's a paste and break into 4 chunks.

Simmering vegetables for broth
Bring the 6 c broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in flour chunks one at a time, whisking each until thick and smooth. Boil 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  If you will be using it within 2 days; cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. If you won't be using it for a few days more, be sure it's in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge. Greatest of all?  You can also freeze it at this stage until needed and slowly reheat to thaw before continuing.

When you make your gravy;  Reheat your gravy base that you've already made and after your turkey is done, add the pan drippings - at least 3/4 of a cup of pan drippings  (up to but not more than 2 cups) heat until hot and serve!

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