Mushroom turkey gravy

makes about 3 cups gravy

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 Tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 pound mushrooms, cleaned well and cut in eighths

1/4 cup dry white wine or dry sherry

several grinds black pepper

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Make the roux on Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving morning after the turkey is in the oven. In a small saucepan,  pour in 2 Tb olive oil and 4 Tb canola oil. With a wooden spoon, stir in sifted flour to make a roux. Cook the roux about 7 minutes over medium heat until it begins to darken to the shade of peanut butter. Let cool until turkey is done. You can store it in the refrigerator if you make it the day before.

When turkey is roasted, pick up the turkey on the rack from the pan and place over the serving platter.

If you roasted your turkey without liquid, stir white wine or sherry in the roasting pan and heat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add 2  3/4 cups of Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup or boxed turkey stock.

If using my recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey, use the liquid and roasted vegetables at the bottom of the pan for gravy.

???????????????????????????????Remove large pieces of herbs from the liquid, then pour liquid into a fat separating cup. This is a cup that has a spout connected to the bottom of the cup.  The fat will rise to the top and only the fat-free liquid will pour out,   yielding 2 3/4 cups. Discard the fat left in the cup. Pour the sherry or wine into the stock. If needed add Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup or boxed turkey stock.

Heat this defatted stock with drippings to a boil in a medium pot. Put the roux in a large mixing bowl. Set beaters on low and slowly pour in the hot turkey broth, beating constantly.  Add minced thyme, rosemary, and several grinds black pepper. Beat the gravy on medium high until it is smooth. Pour the gravy into the pot and heat until it is simmering. Stir gravy while it heats to a boil. for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to boil. Cook 10  minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Add chopped giblets, if desired. The gravy will thicken, although you may not notice it until it cools down, but it should coat the back of a spoon.

Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle food section for their tips on making gravy with roux.

Low-fat cornbread-butternut squash and chestnut stuffing

close up of stuffingThis fragrant stuffing uses less bread than traditional stuffing, and uses only  2 Tb olive oil and 1/2 cube butter. The savory vegetables balance the sweetness of the butternut squash.

You can make a gluten-free stuffing using my recipe for gluten-free cornbread. You can also make this a vegetarian recipe by using vegetable broth or mushroom broth and either skip the turkey sausage or use a vegetarian sausage.

Stuff your turkey, then bake the rest in a casserole dish. Because I brine my turkey, I only add salt to the stuffing that I bake separately.

produce for stuffing

butternut squash ingredIngredients

Half of an  8 × 8 pan of Rosemary-scented cornbread or gluten-free cornbread, cut into cubes to make about 4 cups. (This way you get to nosh on the cornbread before making the stuffing!) cube the cornbread 2 Tb olive oil, divided

Small to medium butternut squash – about 1 pound

½ pound turkey sausage without casings

½ cube (1/4 cup) butter (use only 2 Tb if adding sausage)

2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)

2 cups chopped celery (use the inside stalks, reserving the outside ones to surround the roasting turkey)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped (remove seeds and ribs)

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped

2 tsp rubbed sage

1 tsp minced fresh sage

3 Tb fresh thyme OR 2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

½ tsp (several grinds) black pepper

1 cup roasted chestnuts (shelled), sliced or crumbled (about 10 large chestnuts)

½  cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 Tb dried cranberries

2 eggs

1 ½ cup turkey or chicken broth

½ to 1 tsp salt to taste (unless used for stuffing a brined turkey)

Make Turkey broth:

1 ½  cups water

turkey neck and giblets

1 onion, finely chopped

several stalks celery with leaves, cut up

1 clove garlic, minced

On Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, boil turkey neck and giblets in water with celery and chopped onion and  garlic for an hour or more. Strain into a container and use to moisten this stuffing. (Reserve giblets if you like chopped giblets in your gravy.)

Briefly parboil, then roast chestnuts (be sure to cut them first so they don’t burst!) at 425′ for 15 minutes. Let cool, then shell them. I found it’s easier to scoop the meat out with a teaspoon.  (Or buy the precooked, shelled ones at Trader Joe’s if you don’t want to spend all that time peeling them.)

Make cornbread on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You can also cube and roast the butternut squash on Wednesday:

cubed butternut squash

Peel the butternut squash. Cut into bite-sized cubes and toss in a large bowl with 1 Tb olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan lined with foil. Roast in a 375◦ oven for 15- 20 minutes until they are fork tender.

If using turkey sausage, fry in a pan until browned and crumbly.

Heat another Tb oil and the butter in a large, heavy frying pan. Stir-fry onions, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, apples, and garlic over medium heat until they soften. Add sausage if using, butternut squash, dried cranberries, pecans, chestnuts, parsley and herbs and heat a few minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the broth until warm. Beat the eggs and add  broth. Gently add to the cubed cornbread and other ingredients.

butternut squash stuffing

If not stuffing your turkey, bake in a  9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with olive oil at 350◦ for 45 minutes until the top is toasted. Alternatively, use the microwave since the oven’s got the turkey in it: 15 min should do it. You can finish it off in the oven for a crunchy top.

Thanksgiving Recipes

I am delighted to share my posts for a Thanksgiving feast. I am thankful that you have taken the time to read my posts and perhaps tried out the recipes. Happy Thanksgiving! Roz

Thanksgiving Turkey

chunky-kabocha-soup-with-appeal

Chunky Kabocha Soup with Appeal

???????????????????????????????Kabocha Squash Coconut Soup

Two Autumn Fruit Salads: Sweet and Spinach

Light as a feather cream biscuits

Fruit juice sweetened, no sugar Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Low fat creamy garlic mashed potatoes

Rosemary and olive oil cornbread

Abuelita Luz’s Camote con leche (Yam Pudding)

fluted pie crust

pie crust

DSC03214Pumpkin Pie

pie slice

Drunken Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

Thanksgiving Turkey

All summer long I’ve been watching my sage plant grow, looking forward to stuffing my Thanksgiving turkey with it. Now it’s Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving and I’m about to transform my $6.77 Safeway turkey into a moist, tender, fragrant roast. I brine the turkey using fresh herbs, honey and lemons. Before roasting the turkey, I stuff it with fresh herbs and slather it with garlic-infused olive oil instead of butter.

It’s been defrosting for the last few days on a pan in the fridge, and I just made the brine. I adapted the brine recipe years ago from Bon Appétit. Their recipe is for a 19- to 20-pound, bird, but works fine with my almost 16 pound one. I prefer to brine in a bucket, as you never know what chemicals are  in the plastic garbage bags. I went to my local deli (Saul’s) and asked them to give me a 5 gallon white pickle bucket. You can also ask a bakery for a frosting bucket. You can also buy a brining bag. My husband found one at Andronico’s for $6. But when we lifted the turkey in the brining bag with the brine inside it broke! So don’t do that!
2 cups coarse kosher salt
1 cup honey
A bunch each of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
8 large garlic cloves – peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
2 lemons — cut in eighths

Heat a large pot with water, salt, and honey, and stir until they dissolve. Pour into the bucket along with enough ice and cold water to fill it about 1/3 or so. Add fresh herbs, lemon quarters, and garlic. Grind the pepper into the water and stir until most of the ice melts. Rinse the turkey inside and out,and reserve the giblets for soup and gravy.

Tear off the large piece of fat near the bottom cavity, wrap in plastic and freeze it. You will later mix this with herbs to rub under the breast skin.

Place turkey in the bucket so that both cavities fill with brine and the large cavity end is up. Add enough cold water so that the turkey is submerged. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours.

On Wednesday, rinse turkey inside and out. Place large cavity-side down into the bucket (or a pot if using a brining bag) and let it drain for a few hours in the refrigerator. Then pat it dry and set on a rack over the roasting pan. Let it air dry, uncovered in the refrigerator for another 18-24 hours.

On Thanksgiving morning, preheat oven to 400’. Rinse turkey and transfer to the serving platter and  pat  dry. Clean the roasting pan thoroughly and dry it. Oil both pan and roasting rack.

Stuff turkey with fresh chopped garlic, celery, red onion, leeks, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, orange and lemon wedges in both cavities.

Chop the frozen fat finely, add 2 Tb olive oil and 2 Tb softened butter, and mix in fresh minced herbs (garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (while singing “Scarborough Fair”) as well as a spoonful of rubbed sage, and a bit of chopped onion and celery.

Loosen the skin above the breast and stuff the herb-fat mixture into this area.

Push it all the way in so it covers the breast meat under the skin. This will self-baste the turkey. Rub it in the 2 cavities.

Place the rack in the pan and fill the spaces under and around it with more herbs, and as many chopped red onions, leeks, celery and carrots as will fit, and fill with water to about an inch below where the turkey will sit. Place the turkey on the rack, breast side up, and oil the breast side of the turkey with garlic olive oil and grind a bit of pepper over it. Turn it so it is breast side down and oil and pepper the back side. No need to add any salt, as the brine has already salted the turkey.

With turkey breast down, roast for 2 ½  hours. Set timer for 30 minutes to  baste with the liquid that is under the rack. Add more water if needed to keep it to an inch below the turkey rack. Rotate the pan 180′ several times during cooking. When skin becomes crisp and brown, cover with a piece of cheesecloth and tent with foil. Baste the skin over the cheesecloth.

After 2 ½ hours, remove turkey from oven and carefully turn it so that it is breast side up. (I just bought a turkey turner for this. If you don’t have one, use oven mitts covered with paper towels to grab the turkey.) Ask someone to help you hold the rack.

Continue roasting, rotating and basting for another 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until a thermometer placed in the meatiest part of the inner thigh reads 165’. Remove turkey from oven and let sit for 30 minutes on the serving dish. Use the liquid and roasted vegetables at the bottom of the pan for gravy. Remove large pieces of herbs from the liquid then pour liquid into a fat separating cup. Pour defatted liquid into your gravy. Garnish turkey with some fresh herbs peeking out of the cavities. (I saw Martha Stewart do this).

Serve with

butternut squash soup 

or Chunky Kabocha Soup with Appeal

Spinach Autumn Fruit Salad,

Low fat creamy garlic mashed potatoes,

Green beans sautéed with red onion and roasted almond

Rosemary-scented cornbread

Light as a feather cream biscuits

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

for dessert: Drunken Pecan Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving! There is much to be grateful for.