Thanksgiving Prep

We weren’t going to have many people over for Thanksgiving – just 12 or 13 compared to the past 20 or more. My brother-in-law deep fries a turkey which is delicious and I usually roast one. But since we were having a smallish group I decided to go for Turkey breast en cocotte or Turkey in a pot. I picked up a 7 lb turkey breast with ribs and breast bone. With one deep fried turkey and a small roasted one we wouldn’t get enough gravy, and people have to have their gravy. So I made some all purpose gravy from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. The liquids are beef stock and  chicken stock.

Basic gravy ingredients line up

Basic gravy ingredients line up

Roughly chop the carrot, celery rib and onion.

Vegetables for basic gravy

Vegetables for basic gravy

Pulse the carrots in a food processor a few times; add the celery and onion and pulse a few more times.

chopped vegetables for basic gravy

chopped vegetables for basic gravy

Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Then whisk in a combination of chicken and beef broths then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot adjust the spices (salt and pepper) and you are ready.

Finished basic gravy

Finished basic gravy

I made this the week before so froze it for use on Thanksgiving

The gravy called for chicken stock as did a LOT of our other dishes. So I made some incredibly easy chicken stock using Mike Vrobel’s recipe on Dad Cooks Dinner. I got 3 pounds of chicken wings and chopped them into 3 pieces each. Then I chopped an onion, carrot, and celery rib into 4 pieces each then added a couple of bay leaves, pepper, garlic, and salt.

Chicken stock ingredients ready for the pot

Chicken stock ingredients ready for the pot

Put them all in the pressure cooker along with 1 quart of water per pound of chicken making sure to not go over the Max line in the cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes; then take off the heat and wait until the pressure goes down normally – no steam release – about another 20 minutes.

Pressure cooker making chicken stock

Pressure cooker making chicken stock

Then strain the ingredients and pour into a 4 quart container to cool down.

Chicken stock ready for the refrigerator. We'll skim off the fat after it cools

Chicken stock ready for the refrigerator. We’ll skim off the fat after it cools

I put the lid on this container inside a larger container and put ice between in the space between the two containers. When it cools down it goes in the refrigerator overnight for the fat to firm up. The next day I skim the fat and portion the stock into a combination of 2 cup and 4 cup containers and freeze until I need them.

The difference in using homemade stock over canned is astounding. This stock is so much richer and silky. Do yourselves a favor and try making your own stock. It is easy but makes a lot and will make a big difference in everything it gets used in.

Thanksgiving got busy and I didn’t get any pictures of the turkey; you can find the recipe here on the ATK site or my shortened version here.

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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One Response to Thanksgiving Prep

  1. Pingback: Wild rice and Mushroom Soup | 2for66

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