My first Thanksgiving dinner was a success! There were a few bumps along the way, which I'll recap, but all in all, no complaints!
Today, I want to showcase the bird and the most important part of the whole meal - the gravy!
I chose to do a dry brine on my bird. The simpler the method, the better, I think. I also thought it would be neat to do a 'traditional' liquid brine, but for starters, I don't even have the fridge space to accommodate that.
I used this 'method' for the dry brine and I think it worked great.
Gravy is a big deal for my husband and I. We love gravy - we are condiment people ;) And we don't just love any gravy -- it has to be real, good gravy! My mother-in-law does a fantastic one and in our opinion, make the meal. As hubby was carving the bird and I was getting all the sides plated, I told him I needed to do the gravy, but I wasn't sure how I wasn't to go about it. Sometimes I have luck with gravy, sometimes I don't. And for this time, I didn't want it to be a time when I didn't have luck! I knew I wanted it to be like my mother-in-law's, and I had my mushrooms ready to go. So we did the only logical thing we could think - we called her and said 'HELP! How do you make your gravy?" :)
Dar's Turkey Gravy
This is a 'little bit of this, little bit of that' type of recipe. You have to trust your judgement when you make it, but in the end, it usually ends up being the best!
You will need [and adjust according to how much drippings you start with]:
Turkey Pan Drippings/Juices and whatever else fell into the pan
1 package of mushrooms, diced and sauteed (I sauteed in butter and a little olive oil)
Approx. 1 cup of cold water, divided in half
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Pour the pan drippings into a sauce pan and add about 1/2 cup of water and the sauteed mushrooms -- eyeball, more of less water, depending on how much you had of the pan drippings, and how diluted you think you like your gravy. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to about medium - you want a very gentle boil now. Mix your cornstarch with the other 1/2 cup of cold water and then slowly pour it into the sauce pan. Stir continuously and cook 3-5 minutes or so until all flavors are combined and the starch has cooked into the gravy giving it a nice 'gravy' consistency.
This is what worked for the amount of drippings I had in my pan after roasting a bird that was almost 12#. As I mentioned above, you may need to add more water and cornstarch if you have more drippings after roasting a larger bird.
This gravy is where it is at. I am telling you. Hubby will be so mad tonight at dinner when we sit down for leftovers and he realizes that I used the last of the gravy for my leftover lunch today :) Whoops!