An Elegant Code for Your Thanksgiving Gravy

Matt leads the team of engineers who write the code that makes Sun Basket run. He knows how to do things like reverse a string using a recursive algorithm, and he can write FizzBuzz in several languages. (We have no idea what that means, but we’re impressed.)  And he regularly slays his opponents in daily bouts of Words With Friends. Now, with Chef Justine’s help, Matt can add agile gravy engineer to his resume. 

The Perfect Gravy Recipe

Makes about 1 quart
Serves 10 to 20

2 tablespoons olive oil 
Turkey neck and giblets (liver, gizzard, heart), reserved from 1 turkey  
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper
2 celery ribs
1 large carrot 
2 shallots 
4 cups turkey or chicken stock 
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 or 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley 
½ ounce dried mushrooms, such as porcini 
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons tamari

Whisk, large glass measuring cup or bowl, medium sauce pot

1 Brown the turkey neck and giblets
In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, warm the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the turkey neck and giblets, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning a few times, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. While the giblets cook, prepare the vegetables. 

2 Prep and cook the vegetables; make the broth

  • Trim the ends from the celery; coarsely chop the celery. 
  • Trim the top from the carrot; coarsely chop the carrot. 
  • Peel and coarsely chop the shallots.

Add the celery, carrot, and shallots to the pot with the turkey giblets, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme and parsley sprigs, the dried porcini, and the stock. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until richly flavorful, at least 1 hour or as long as 2 hours. Remove from the heat and strain the broth into a bowl or 1-quart glass measuring cup. Do not clean the pot. Transfer the cooked giblets and the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop. Discard the vegetables and herbs. Skim any fat from the surface of the stock. 

2 Make the roux 

In the same pot used to make the broth, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour begins to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the broth, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the giblets and tamari. Season generously with salt and pepper. If not serving right away, refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, warm gently over low heat, whisking in any pan juices from your turkey. 

Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, Protein: 5g (10% DV), Fiber: 1g (4% DV), Total Fat: 9g (14% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 3.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g (20% DV), Cholesterol: 60mg (20% DV), Sodium: 230mg (10% DV), Carbohydrates: 4g (1% DV), Total Sugars: 1g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Bonus recipe—ingredients not included in box.