Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012: Hassle-Free Apple Cider Gravy

Ah, gravy... Creamy, smooth, and the perfect mate to turkey, gravy is a must at the Thanksgiving table. It's just timing that seems to be a problem. It's 4pm on Thursday and everyone's famished and waiting for the much-awaited Thanksgiving dinner. You pull the turkey out of the oven. All the other sides are waiting patiently at the table. The turkey gets set aside to rest for 15 minutes, and all is well. But wait... the gravy! Just when you think things are winding down after a full day in your kitchen, you realize you need to collect the juices from the turkey, separate the fat out and create your gravy masterpiece - the gravy that will take your turkey to levels of greatness! For a condiment, it sure packs on the pressure.
Well, I've got a solution. Why do things last minute? I find myself telling my daughter this like a broken record and realized that yes, that applies to gravy, too! I'll just make my gravy a few days early and save myself the hassle, hence Hassle-Free Apple Cider Gravy. I chose apple cider gravy because I love the tart flavor paired with the mellow turkey and sharper, sweet flavors of cranberry sauce. Plus I always have apple cider on hand during the holidays as my daughter adores it.
Here's the recipe. Give it a try. This gravy is light, tangy, and lovely. You can make it up to two days ahead of time and refrigerate it. Once you're ready to serve it, heat it gently on the stove, until warmed through and there you have it. Now you can relax when your turkey comes out of the oven on Thursday... Dinner is served.

Hassle-Free Apple Cider Gravy
(Inspired by No-Drippings Gravy from Baked Bree blog)

6 T butter, unsalted
6 T all-purpose flour
3 c chicken stock
1 c apple cider
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T thyme
1 t salt, or to taste
1/4 t pepper, or to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium flame.

Add the flour and whisk for about 2 minutes to form a roux.

Slowly pour in the chicken stock and apple cider as well as the apple cider vinegar. Whisk until well combined.

Continue to whisk until the gravy comes to a boil. At this point, the gravy will begin to thicken. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper as desired. Continue to whisk for another minute.

Take the gravy off the heat. Serve warm or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm the gravy over the stove just before you are ready to serve it.

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