Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Gravy with Porcini Mushrooms and Marsala Wine – Make-Ahead So You Don’t Get Behind

They say timing is everything; to which I would add, “was” everything, and “will be” everything. So, with that in mind I present this “make-ahead” turkey gravy with porcini mushrooms and Marsala wine.

The Thanksgiving Day kitchen is a busy, hectic scene that can intimidate even the most experienced cooks. As dinnertime approaches, you’re flying around the kitchen trying to get everything to the table, hot, looking delicious, and most importantly, on time.

While the turkey is resting under foil, you’re mashing potatoes, reheating sweet potatoes, warming rolls, and probably trying to finish a gravy. That’s a lot of stuff going on, and one reason new cooks are so afraid to try a big holiday meal.

However, by doing your gravy ahead of time, you make that last-minute production a lot easier, and your other offerings will benefit from the extra attention. That’s not to say I want you to throw away all those lovely turkey pan juices sitting in your roasting pan. Time permitting of course, strain them into a saucepan, boil them down, and add them to this sauce.

This recipe is made for adaptation, so feel free to use a drier white wine, sherry, or none at all. I highly recommend the caramelized porcini mushrooms, which are easy to find dried in any large grocery store, but you can also use any fresh varieties with delicious results. Anyway, if you’re looking to “gourmet up” this year’s turkey gravy, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Turkey Gravy Ingredients (makes about 3-4 cups gravy):
For the turkey neck stock:
2 tsp vegetable oil
3-4 turkey necks
1 onion
1 rib celery
1 carrot
1/3 cup Marsala wine, or white wine
2 quarts cold water
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp flour
about 6 cups of the reserved turkey neck stock
2 tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

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