Holiday Feature


Chapter 8. Making the Gravy

  • Rule #10: Make the gravy in the same pan you used to roast the turkey.
  • Rule #11: All gravies require a thickener and one or more liquids.
    Thickeners: flour or cornstarch
    Liquids: the pan juices, chicken broth, water, or stock and sometimes a dash of white wine, milk, sherry, etc.
  • Rule #12: Determine your measurements.
    The standard ratio is 1 tablespoon of fat from the drippings, plus 1 tablespoon of flour (or 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch), per cup of liquid.
  • Rule #13: Cook the flour all the way through.
    Undercooked flour gives off a raw taste. It should bubble in the fat and start to turn brown.
Turkey Gravy  

Making the Basic Gravy

  • Step 1:
    Remove the turkey and rack from the pan. Pour off the liquids from the pan into a Pyrex or heatproof measuring cup. Let settle until the fat rises to the top, then skim off as much as possible, reserving the desired amount for the gravy.
  • Step 2:
    Heat the roasting pan over a burner (or 2 if it's really large). Stir in the flour over medium heat cook through until it bubbles and browns slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the reserved juices and broth or other liquids. Reheat the pan over the burner(s) and let the mixture come to a slow boil; season with salt and pepper and boil for 1 minute until the gravy thickens.
  • Step 3:
    If the gravy cools before serving it may become too thick and should be reheated with additional liquid.

Turkey Tip: Additions to gravy may include cooked, chopped giblets, finely diced tomato bits, mushrooms, and parsley.

FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook

Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking

Chapter 1. Buying a Turkey

  • What size turkey should I buy?
  • Is it better to buy one large turkey or two small ones?
  • Should I buy fresh or frozen?
  • What about turkeys that have been injected with fats and seasonings?
  • What about turkey parts and frozen stuffed turkeys?

Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey

  • How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?
  • How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?

Chapter 3. Thawing a Frozen Turkey

  • Thawing Rules
  • Thawing Methods
  • Turkey Thawing Charts

Chapter 4. Stuffing (or Not Stuffing) a Turkey

  • Is it best to cook the stuffing inside the bird, or separately in a baking dish?
  • If I do want to stuff the bird, what's the best way to do it?
  • How much stuffing do I need?
  • Do I need to close up the cavity after it has been stuffed?

Chapter 5. Preparing the Turkey for Roasting

  • Preparations Step-by-Step
  • Stuffing & Trussing
  • Do I need to truss the bird's legs, or can I just roast it the extra effort?

Chapter 6. Roasting the Turkey

  • Roasting Step-by-Step
  • How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?

Chapter 7. How to Tell When It's Done

  • Use a Meat Thermometer
  • My turkey comes with a plastic pop-up timer. Can't I use that instead?
  • How accurate are "recommended cooking times"?
  • How can I tell when the turkey is done?
  • USDA Timetable for Turkey Roasted at 325 degrees F.

Chapter 8. Making the Gravy

  • Rules for Making Gravy
  • Making the Basic Gravy
  • Additions to Gravy

Chapter 9. Carving the Bird

  • Basic Carving steps
  • Removing the Thigh, Drumstick & Wings
  • Carving the breast

Chapter 10. Storing Leftovers & Food Safety After Cooking

  • Storing leftovers
  • Reheating leftovers


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook
Using a Meat Thermometer


This page modified November 2006

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