Chef Bill answers your Thanksgiving questions

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – In our annual Thanksgiving show, Chef Bill Collins from answered many of your Thanksgiving meal preparation questions. They included questions about making the turkey, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Here’s Chef Bill’s recipe to make the perfect turkey gravy:

Turkey Gravy and More!

This three-part recipe will help you from the moment your turkey comes put of the oven until you’re ready to carve it. It has the gravy, the turkey stock, and removing the drippings from the pan. One-stop gravy making!

The Gravy
¼ cup flour or cornstarch
½ cup water
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
pan drippings from roasted turkey, strained
deglazed drippings and stock from pan (see below)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour (or cornstarch) and water. Whisk to remove any lumps, and set aside. This is called a slurry.
2. Place the pan drippings, deglazed bits, and 2 cups of the stock in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
3. Taste the sauce. Add more stock, if you’d like more gravy. But don’t let the gravy become too mild in taste by adding too much stock.
4. As an optional step, you can strain the gravy now if you like it smooth.
5. With the gravy at a slow simmer, add ½ of the slurry, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens. If you’d like it thicker, add more slurry.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Other (optional) ingredients to add to your gravy:
1/3 cup bourbon or white wine
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces, whisked into the almost-finished gravy
Add the cooked giblets to the gravy after it’s strained

How to make Turkey Stock from Giblets
1. Take the giblets (neck, liver, heart, and gizzards) from the turkey’s cavity, and cover them with 4-5 cups of water.
2. Add an onion, chopped stalk of celery, and a chopped carrot. Simmer uncovered for one hour. If the water level goes down by more than ¼, add cold water and bring back to a simmer.
3. After an hour, strain the stock. You can chop up the meats from the stock and add them to your finished gravy

Removing the turkey and deglazing
1. Remove the turkey from the pan. Rest it on a warm platter as you make the gravy.
2. Pour the liquid from the pan into a large bowl or heat-proof pitcher. Remove the pan drippings that are not stuck in the pan and place these in a separate, 2 quart saucepan. Set all of these aside.
3. Once the liquid from the pan has cooled a bit, remove the fat from the top of the liquid, either with a spoon, or a fat-separator. Discard the fat.
4. Once you’ve removed the drippings and liquid from the turkey roasting pan, there may be some bits of turkey that are stuck in the pan. To remove them, place the pan on a burner (or two, if the pan is
large enough) on a medium-high heat. Have a wooden spoon or wooden scraper handy.
5. Once the pan is quite hot, and almost smoking, add ½ cup (or more, if needed) of the stock or other liquid to the pan. You want only a small amount of liquid to just moisten the stuck bits in the pan.
6. With the wooden spoon, scrape up the bits, and put these into a 2 quart saucepan, with the other loose bits that you removed from the roasting pan.