The Queen of Make-ahead

I guess I could blahg about how Sprint is so reluctant to take my money (for Mouse’s cell phone) that when I can’t remember my password at their web site, they *text message* to *her phone*, which is in kzoo, which wakes her up early and doesn’t help me pay the bill. Usability? Sheesh!

But I won’t. Because I ran into Jane at the Westgate Kroger u-scan this morning. Uh, that’s Jane, my Haisley Mafia buddy, not my cousin. Although they do look rather similar: very good looking, tall and skinny, with short brown hair. Anyway, Jane and I were talking turkey over there at the u-scan and this is what I’m cooking today, because I am the Queen of Make-ahead. Also because, since I only make gravy about once a year, I’ve never gotten the hang of the whole “make it in the turkey pan on the stove at the last minute” trick, even though about a million people have very graciously showed me how to do it.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
(fer-git where I got this, prob’ly the Snooze or somewhere but I’m sure I’ve morphed the recipe since it was published)

  • 4 turkey wings (3 #)
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • pepper

Use your own common sense if any of these directions don’t seem to make sense, I usually just sort of “wing it” through recipes. (And yes, you’re right, winging it is not always a good idea.)

  1. Heat oven to 400. Have ready a large roasting pan.
  2. Arrange wings in a single layer in pan, scatter onions over top. Roast 1-1/4 hours until wings are browned.
  3. Put wings and onions and a 5-6 quart pot. Add water to roasting pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom. Add to pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups), carrot and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours.
  4. Remove wings to cutting board. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin, save meat for another use.
  5. Strain broth into a 3 quart saucepan, pressing vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. Skim fat off broth and discard. (Refrigerate broth overnight to make fat-skimming easier.)
  6. Whisk flour into remaining 2 cups broth until blended and smooth.
  7. Bring broth in pot to a gentle boil. Whisk in broth-flour mixture and boil 3-4 minutes to thicken gravy and remove floury taste. Stir in butter and pepper. Save or pour into containers, refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.

Makes 8 cups

And then, on Thanksgiving Day, heat it up and add sherry or cranberry juice or liqueur or orange or whatever and boil it down to your desired thickness. Be creative.

4 Responses to “The Queen of Make-ahead”

  1. jane Says:

    This reminds me of one of my favorite Julia Child stories. I don’t remember if it was T-giving or Xmas, but NPR had gathered a number of chefs to share one of their favorite recipies so it all added up to a full dinner menu. Julia did mashed potatoes. So she’s going over the recipe and says to add a stick of butter, or some largish amount anyway. The interviewer interrupts and says ‘some of our listeners may be watching their weight – could they substitute margarine or something else?’ Of course this is an absurd thing to say to Julia Child. so she argues for a bit (nicely) that no, they really can’t substitute for the butter – that’s where the flavor comes from. The interviewer pushes a bit more and Juia finally says “if you don’t like butter, use heavy cream.’ I LOVE IT!

  2. kayak woman Says:

    NPR airs that show every year and I always try to catch it. And isn’t that the show where they talk about the turducken, something I wouldn’t attempt in about a gazillion years.

  3. Webmomster Says:

    turducken looks like quite the ambitious project – maybe we can do it some year when we’re retired and have all sorts of free time (yeah, right) 😉

  4. Kate Says:

    I think you may also have a Goose on Thanksgiving. I’m going to Houston to be with my folks. Dad is quite poorly. Meg has too much school work to leave and will be holding down the Leona fort. It’s always great to know that she has secondary parents in town. Thanks again for watching my little bratleys during my frequent travels. I sure would like a long stint at home! Kate