Not Martha

Our First Turkey, the Gravy Experiment Outcome

Our Low Maintenance Thanksgiving* somehow still came to include two versions of gravy. I made the Serious Eats Dead Simple Turkey Gravy as an experiment and as a backup gravy and, under the hugely appreciated guidance of Glitter Pissing (Seattle area artist well worth knowing), I made a pan gravy after roasting our first turkey.

The outcome? You might ask? Serious Eats’ Marmite gravy FTW.

I did successfully made a gravy from the drippings of our roasted turkey. A little fat + flour to do a roux, then adding dairy (in our case 2% milk), then the rest of the drippings and stir, stir, stir. It turned out something that looked divine but tasted far too salty. (This judgment, it may be important to note, is coming from a girl that would rather have a salt bagel than dessert under any circumstances. So a too-salty gravy is quite significant.) No fault of the traditional directions, but more of the over two days spent brining.

I didn’t have the time (or the, uh, before-the-fact research) for the Pioneer Woman’s tips on How To Control Saltiness After Brining, so we went with the Serious Eats gravy. And you know what? It was better than good. Not transcendent, I would need somebody other than myself to be cooking for that, but it can be credited with making our Thanksgiving something to remember fondly. (Um. Especially since I cooked the turkey a lot longer than it should have been.)

The photo above shows the gravy in a piped bowl of Duchess Potatoes, the recipe for which I found over at Baking Bites. The piped bowl shape of the potatoes was inspired by our very first meal in Paris earlier this year when I unadventurously ordered the chicken-something-or-other and it came with a bit of gravy in a divot in the potatoes:

TLDR?: Marmite gravy is a keeper.

* We devoted most of the long weekend to finally (finally) painting our bathroom walls.

· comments [18] · 11-29-2010 · categories:food · holidays ·

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steffy // Nov 29, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Your potatoes look magnificent.

  • 2 Nicole // Nov 29, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I love the duchess potato bowl! What a great idea!

  • 3 Candace // Nov 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

    The Southern part of me (my mother’s entire family is from Mississippi) cringed when you said you added dairy to the pan gravy. Dairy only belongs (in my humble opinion) in biscuit gravy, not pan gravy meant for turkey. Next time, use stock in place of the dairy and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    And yes, those potatoes look absolutely magnificent.

  • 4 kay // Nov 29, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I have to agree with Candace on the gravy. And salty gravy is a problem with the brining juices.

    If you do not have a temperature probe with temp alarm, I totally suggest this for next time. I put the probe in shut the door and wait for it to tell me my turkey is 165 (or whatever temp it is supposed to be). Made my turkey roasting way easier.

  • 5 megan // Nov 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Kay – I am familiar with temp probes but I considered the cost, the number of times I’d use it per year (two, maybe) and the lack of space in our kitchen (it’s really a tiny kitchen) and decided I’d skip it.Thank you though!

  • 6 // Nov 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

    It never occurred to me to use dairy in gravy. I usually use the dairy in the mashed potatoes themselves. (Tip: sour cream instead of milk…)

  • 7 megan // Nov 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Ok, so I did it wrong! Everybody forgive me!

  • 8 megan // Nov 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Nicole – Thanks, they didn’t turn out as golden as I had hoped because I’d run out of butter (!) and didn’t have any to brush over the bowls before putting them in the oven. I hope to get a chance to do it again, and get a star piping tip that will work out better. Thanks so much for posting the recipe.

  • 9 Ellen // Nov 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Love the piped potatoes – I’m stealing that idea next year!

  • 10 Seanna Lea // Nov 29, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    My mashed potatoes have so little salt in them that my friends said that the potatoes saved their salty gravy (brined turkey and serrano ham make a fairly salty gravy for the meat eaters).

  • 11 Our First Turkey, the Gravy Experiment Outcome | roxannep01 // Dec 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

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  • 12 paola // Dec 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Good grief. Marmite in gravy. Is nothing sacred? (You should try and acquire some Oxo cubes. Very ‘Marmite-y’ English stock cubes.) The whole of English cuisine is based on Oxo.

    And wine (or vermouth) is better than dairy or stock for gravy…

  • 13 megan // Dec 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Paola – Tell us more about Oxo, how is it used? Stews and the like? Do you think one could get it at the British imports store in Redmond?

  • 14 retro sweets // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I’m on a diet this week and your pictures make me want to skip it. I’ve haven’t got time to make gravy out of our leftovers but I will give it a shot some time soon. Thanks for the links.

  • 15 megan // Dec 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Retro Sweets – Thank you! Sorry about the temptation, the idea will keep until you need it next.

  • 16 Our First Turkey, the Gravy Experiment Outcome | brandisc01 // Dec 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

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  • 17 Our First Turkey, the Gravy Experiment Outcome | kirstenr01 // Dec 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

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  • 18 retro sweets // Dec 5, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Nah, it’s OK. My husband lured me to make this one yesterday and I just enjoyed them with mashed potatoes (whilst they were having huge bites of fried chicken by my side). :) I’ll have to hunt one of those pink sugar and try them on me popcorns.

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