The way to ensure abundant and delicious gravy on thanksgiving is to make a big batch of turkey stock today.  Roast a couple pounds of turkey wings, and any other inexpensive parts you may be able to gather, until they are  golden brown and good enough to eat.  Cover them with water and cook below a simmer for 6 hours or so uncovered or in a 180-200 degree oven.  For the last hour or two, add a large onion, 2 big carrots, two bay leaves, some peppercorns, thyme and parsley (if you have it on hand), and a couple tablespoons of tomato paste.  Strain it through cloth and it's done.

To make gravy, you may want to fortify it with neck and giblets while the turkey cooks (or chop the giblets and saute them with some shallot to add to the gravy).  Save the fat rendered from the turkey and mix it with enough flour to form a thick paste, cooking this paste, or roux, to get rid of the raw flour flavor.  Use this roux to thick your turkey stock, adding more aromatics if you wish and any juices the turkey drops as it rests.

Here's last year's post on making turkey stock with your left over turkey carcass, whichis too abundant and too delicious to throw away.  (The pix here—thank you donna!— are  generic stock shots donna had on hand–abundant veg, called mirepoix, is essential to the flavor of stock.  At right is the temperature I cook a stock, 180 degrees, so that there's not even a simmer, but the pot is too hot to hold your hand to comfortably.)


And because you may have abundant turkey stock, it's a great time to try making consomme—turkey consomme beats chicken any day.

Wishing all readers on this, one of the great and unifying American holidays we all share, a bountiful day with hopes that all have the opportunity to cook with one another and sit down at the table together to acknowledge a shared gratitude for what we have.