Roasting the mushrooms adds a whole new dimension of flavor and texture to this classic turkey gravy. Stirring the gravy will build up your arm muscles.
1 pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned well
About 2 Tb olive oil to coat mushrooms
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
Approximately 2 Tb to 1/4 cup dried Chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup warm water for soaking dried mushrooms
1/4 cup 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
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Turkey drippings from Thanksgiving turkey
Salt to taste if not using brined turkey drippings
Start the mushrooms the day before Thanksgiving. Scrub mushrooms with a soft brush or wet paper towel and rinse well. Chop the woody ends of the stems.
Preheat oven to 425′ Toss mushrooms with olive oil until well coasted.
Place on an oiled pan and roast for 15 minutes until they are nicely browned and soft.
You can also soak dried mushrooms. I used a combination of dried shiitake and Chanterelle. I roasted the reconstituted shiitakes for 5 minutes, but that was just taking it to the next level. When mushrooms are cool enough to handle, cut into fourths, sixths or eighths, depending on the size of the mushroom. Discard the shiitake stems since they are tough. Store cut mushrooms in a container with the soaking liquid, with a splash of sherry.
Boil giblets and neck with 1 cup water, 1/2 onion, a celery stalk, fresh thyme and pepper for an hour. When cool, chop giblets finely if you want to add them to the gravy. Store in a container until turkey is cooked.
When turkey is roasted, pick up the turkey from the roasting rack and place over the serving platter. Let it sit for 15 minutes before carving.
If you roasted your turkey without liquid, stir sherry in the roasting pan and heat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Stir in mushroom liquid, turkey stock and Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup or boxed turkey stock to make 2 3/4 cups.
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. Add reserved turkey broth, sherry and mushroom liquid to make 2 3/4 cups stock.
Measure out 1/2 cup fat left in the cup. If there is not 1/2 cup, then add chicken fat and/or butter. Pour into a medium saucepan. Whisk in sifted flour over medium heat to make a roux. Cook the roux about 7 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to darken to the shade of peanut butter.
Heat the stock 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 fwhile it heats to a boil.
Add the mushrooms, and chopped giblets if desired, and cook 5 minutes stirring constantly. The gravy will thicken, although you may not notice it until it cools down, but it should coat the back of a spoon. Adjust salt to taste if necessary.
Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle food section for their tips on making gravy with roux.