If you’re like us, every year you worry about the worst thing that can possibly happen at Thanksgiving: the turkey is dry. Or the stuffing. Or the mashed potatoes. It’s the kind of meal that can be made or broken by moisture, so our fail-safe way to make sure nothing dries out is to always make a ton of gravy. But when so much of our Thanksgiving food is already doused in butter, we’re a little hesitant to thicken our gravy with more butter and starch. Luckily, Alex Guarnaschelli’s gravy hack is the tastiest solution. She just shared her recipe for vegetable-thickened gravy, and it’s not just a little lighter – it tastes fantastic, thanks to the addition of garlic and onion.
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Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, or ICAG as she sometimes calls herself, shared her vegetable thickened gravy recipe in an post on Instagram. Rather than using a roux made of butter or drippings and flour, or a beurre manie made of butter and flour, Guarnaschelli thickens her gravy in two ways.
First, she reduces sherry, turkey drippings, and stock right in her turkey roasting pan, which also helps her scrape up all of the delicious browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reducing the liquids help them thicken up and concentrates their flavor. Then, she blends her liquid with deeply roasted garlic squeezed right from the papery cloves, and roasted onions.
The blended veggies add a luxurious body to the gravy, as well as a deep, sweet, vegetal flavor that marries perfectly with the other ingredients in her gravy. Of course, sometimes those roasted flavors can taste a little heavy, so Guarnaschelli livens her gravy up with a splash of red wine vinegar and a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
She also stirs some in-tact roasted garlic cloves into the final mix, so that there is some texture and pops of sweet roasted garlic flavor in each bite of your gravy, which can be the saving grace for even the most bland, overcooked turkey and dry, pasty mashed potatoes.
Cooking for a big crowd? Don’t be afraid to double the recipe, so you don’t have to worry about running out of what’s bound to be everyone’s favorite food on the table.
Before you go, check out these stocking stuffer ideas for absolutely everyone on your list:
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