Gravy is like a sheep in wolf's clothing. It's one of those things that seems so complicated to make but is really, actually, quite easy. There's no reason why you should ever buy premade gravy in a can (blech!) when you're already making a Turkey, or chicken for that matter. And there's no reason why it should take you longer than 20 minutes to make it from scratch. Thanks to my mother, Principal Pirtle and homemaker extraordinaire, I've learned the secret is in the roux. You can make any kind of yummy saucy thing with roux as your starter and gravy is a prime example. Here's a step-by-step, simple as h*ll way to make the best tasting, most delicious homemade gravy that will impress your guests every time.
1) Before putting your turkey in to roast, add a cup or two of water to the roasting pan
2) Roast your turkey, basting as needed
3) When your turkey comes out of the oven, reserve the turkey drippings.
4) Put a saucepan on medium-low and melt 3 tablespoons butter.
4) Add 3 tablespoons flour, a pinch of pepper and a little salt. Stir around until bubbly, about 2 minutes.
5) Add reserved turkey drippings and stir on medium low until thickened - about 20 minutes. Whalla!
Here are a few tips: If you're worried you won't have enough gravy for all those mashed potatoes, you can always add a little more water, a little chicken or veggie broth, or even a little milk to your sauce pan if you want it creamy. Just make sure you warm it and stir it enough to thicken and taste it to make sure it has enough seasoning: add salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, whatever. The Turkey recipe Missy made created especially good gravy because of all of the fresh herbs she used so I didn't have to add anything. While the turkey was roasted I did add a little orange juice to the roasting pan (with encouragement from my fellow beauties) to make more liquid at the bottom for both basting and for the gravy and since we'd already stuffed the cavity with an orange it seemed like a good idea.
What resulted was a delicious (almost too rich) gravy and we had tons of it (which made for a really yummy 2 a.m. snack with mashed potatoes after we got back from the bar in Roslyn, but I digress). Maybe a little less orange juice next time... Either way, by the time your gravy is done, the person carving the turkey will probably be done. Notice that is not you. You can put the wolf's clothing back on this innocent baby sheep and dole out the responsibilities while you stand over to stove and look busy.
For those of you having a Tofurky for dinner this year, you can make veggie gravy for your mashed potatoes by substituting veggie broth for the Turkey drippings. I'd recommend adding at 1.5 to 2 cups of broth to the roux.