Serious Eats: Recipes

All-Purpose Gravy

The first time I smoked a turkey I was so excited to make gravy out of the drippings—I thought the smoke would add another dimension to an already excellent sauce. Unfortunately, I was left sorely disappointed. The smoke overpowered the entire thing; I ate my bird sans gravy, an utter shame.

After that incident, I vowed to find a gravy that could deliver the deep flavors pan drippings produce, but without the drippings, which is what led me to this Cook's Illustrated recipe for an all-purpose gravy.

There's a lot right here with developing a complex flavor profile, starting with browning a mixture of vegetables; their deepened flavors are later picked up by the gravy. Then both chicken and beef stock are used, along with additional seasonings of bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns.

This gets 30 minutes of cook time to let all of the flavors combine and the sauce to thicken. What comes out is a rich gravy suitable to adorn any turkey or mashed potatoes on my Thanksgiving table.

Oh, and the best part is this can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, making it an excellent do-ahead for the big meal.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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