Pressure Cooker Giblet Gravy
Pressure cooker giblet gravy solves Thanksgiving problems.
First: The Thanksgiving Time Crunch. Thanksgiving dinner is a logistical problem. Instead of a party of eight to ten people, I’m cooking for twenty to thirty. There is only so much space in the oven, so many burners available, and the clock is always ticking. Giblet gravy can be made days ahead, using the bits of turkey that are stuffed in the cavity. One less thing to worry about on T-Day.
Second: My two favorite Thanksgiving dishes are grilled turkey and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. Grilled turkey and pan drippings don’t go together; if I based my gravy on pan drippings alone, I might have a gravy-less Thanksgiving. That would be a disaster.
* I’ve lost pan drippings to charcoal ash, burning from the high heat of the grill, and flimsy aluminum foil pans I use under my turkey. Also, I’m addicted to drip pan sweet potatoes, and they soak up all the drippings. This recipe is my workaround for those missing drippings.
Why use the pressure cooker to make giblet gravy? It’s not absolutely necessary, but I like the results; the PC seems to extract more flavor from the giblets. Also, it is fast – I can make gravy in an hour, end-to-end, with half that being hands-off time. Quick, delicious, make-ahead, using the bag of turkey pieces that I used to pull out of the cavity and throw away. What more could I want from a recipe?
*If you don’t have a PC, you should still make giblet gravy. Check the notes section for instructions using standard cookware.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Giblet Gravy
Inspired By: Giblet Pan Gravy, Cook’s Illustrated [November/December 2000]
- Pressure Cooker (I use a massive Kuhn Rikon 12 quart pressure stockpot, which is overkill for this recipe.)
|Know Your Giblets|
Brown the turkey and aromatics:
Pressure cook the broth:
Make the roux:
Make the gravy:
- No pressure cooker? No worries: Use a regular saucepan. Increase the vermouth/white wine to 1 cup, and the water to 6 cups. In step 2, instead of pressure cooking, bring the pot to a boil , decrease to a simmer, then simmer the broth for an hour and a half. Continue with the straining step
- Giblet Gravy is three (or four) basic techniques strung together. First, make a stock using the giblets, neck, turkey butt, and some aromatics and herbs. Second, make a light brown roux to thicken the stock into gravy. Third, Season to taste – more on that in a minute. The final, optional step is deglazing the pan drippings and adding them to the gravy.
- “Add salt and pepper to taste” is not optional. You need to add salt to the gravy, or it will taste bland and thin. Add salt and keep tasting; the change will surprise you. Once you have added enough salt, the gravy will taste sweet and gain a lot of body. I added about 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
- I use two pots for this recipe because my pressure cooker is too large to make the roux. If you own a 4 quart or smaller pressure cooker, this can be a one-pot recipe, making cleanup easier. (Wipe the pot out with a damp paper towel before starting the roux.) On the other hand, using a second pot lets me make the roux while the broth is cooking in the pressure cooker. This cuts a few minutes from the total cooking time. Also, I like to make roux in a saucier style pot, with rounded sides – there is less chance of the flour burning in a corner.
- Turkey butt isn’t really the turkey’s butt. It’s the turkey tail, the thing the tail feathers are attached to. It’s also called the pope’s nose; the scientific name is the pygostyle. I still call it the butt. Why? So I can say: “Guess what? Turkey butt!” I may get old, but I’m not maturing.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Giblet Pan Gravy, Cook’s Illustrated, November/December 2000
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