Make a Flavorful Gravy: Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros

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This post is part of our series on Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros. To see more tips, click here: Thanksgiving Tips from the Pros.

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Tip: Make a flavorful gravy. Roast root vegetables in the pan under the the turkey, then blend them with the drippings.

From: Donna Monaco Olsen, Chef’s Tip

Her expertise: As coordinator of the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College, she organizes more than 75 food demonstrations with top chefs in restaurants all over Westchester. This tip — and her recipe — comes from AJ’s Burgers in New Rochelle.

Recipe: Alan Cohen’s Turkey Gravy

My name is Donna Monaco Olsen, contributing blogger to Small Bites as the author of “Chef’s Tip” and most recently a contributor of recipes developed for an upcoming cookbook. I am the coordinator of the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College and design and organize 75 food demonstrations each year. They are held in local restaurants throughout Westchester with top-notch chefs. Over the years, I have attended hundreds of classes, and I always learn a new trick or two from our great chefs!

AJ_INSIDE_CROPDIn a recent class at AJ’s Burgers, New Rochelle, the chef let our attendees in on an amazingly easy way to make delicious gravy for your holiday table. Chef and owner Alan Cohen (aka AJ), a WCC graduate and the former owner of the Original Wedge Inn, told us the secret to his tasty and fabulous gravy.  He roasts root vegetables in the pan with the turkey as many of us do. Instead of straining out the vegetables, he blends them with the drippings for a most flavorful gravy. The veggies give it body, a sweetness, depth of flavor and if desired the gravy can be made gluten free by omitting the flour. AJ’s recipe is below combined with that of my favorite and most special chef. My dad has been making it the very same way for years. My pop’s gravy is the leftover we fight over at the end of dinner and our family has been know to actually do “gravy shots” to toast the day! Wishing you a day filled with family and fabulous gravy!

Thanksgiving Gravy

Thanksgiving Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium onions
  • 2 Carrots peeled
  • 2 Celery ribs
  • 1 Parsnip (if desired)
  • 1 Turnip (if desired)
  • 3 Parsley sprigs
  • 10 Sage leaves
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (if desired) {Omit for gluten free}
  • 1 Teaspoon Gravy Master (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Put all cleaned and cut vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan under and around turkey. When turkey is done roasting remove from pan. Remove thyme sprigs.Transfer all to a pot and blend with stick wand or in blender. If desired for thicker gravy add flour and blend again. Bring to a boil. If desired add Gravy Master for color. If a smoother texture is desired strain through a fine mesh sieve. Serve warm.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/05/make-a-flavorful-gravy-thanksgiving-tips-from-our-pros/

Veggie AJsRoot Vegetables

veggie and Turkey AJsRoast Vegetables with Turkey  veggie roasted AJs Drippings and VegetablesGravy AJsBlend Vegetables

Thanksgiving Gravy

Thanksgiving Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium onions
  • 2 Carrots peeled
  • 2 Celery ribs
  • 1 Parsnip (if desired)
  • 1 Turnip (if desired)
  • 3 Parsley sprigs
  • 10 Sage leaves
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (if desired) {Omit for gluten free}
  • 1 Teaspoon Gravy Master (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Put all cleaned and cut vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan under and around turkey. When turkey is done roasting remove from pan. Remove thyme sprigs.Transfer all to a pot and blend with stick wand or in blender. If desired for thicker gravy add flour and blend again. Bring to a boil. If desired add Gravy Master for color. If a smoother texture is desired strain through a fine mesh sieve. Serve warm.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/05/make-a-flavorful-gravy-thanksgiving-tips-from-our-pros/

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About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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