Creole Roasted Turkey Gravy
Adapted from Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's Restaurant, New Orleans. If you want almost-instant gravy on Thanksgiving, make the roux and the stock in advance. The roux will keep several days at room temperature, or can be refrigerated or frozen even longer. You can make the stock several days before Thanksgiving and refrigerate, or make it farther in advance and freeze it.
3 pounds turkey wings
3 pounds turkey necks, if available (if not, use more turkey wings)
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups diced celery
4 cups diced yellow onions
24 cups cold water
Prepared roux (see below)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey wings and necks, if using, in a sturdy roasting pan with carrots, celery and onion. Roast for 2 hours.
PLACE roasting pan on top of stove over medium-high heat. Add 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottoms and sides of the pan with a metal spatula to stir up browned bits.
TRANSFER the turkey parts and pan drippings to a large stockpot. Add the remaining 20 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Strain, reserving the liquid and the meat. When the turkey parts are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the wings and necks. Chill the stock and the meat separately. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze longer.
MAKE the roux according to the directions below and set aside.
TO FINISH: While turkey is roasting, place 12 cups turkey stock in a large saucepan and boil 15 to 20 minutes, until reduced about a third, to 8 cups. When turkey comes out of the oven, set it aside to rest before carving. Skim off excess fat from the pan drippings or use a fat-separating cup. Strain the drippings and add to the turkey stock. Continue boiling to reduce. Add reserved cooked turkey wing and neck meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
POUR off excess oil from top of the roux and discard. Slowly and carefully whisk the roux into the boiling broth a little at a time. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Skim off excess fat that rises to the top and discard.
1. Heat 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in 1 cup all-purpose flour, stirring constantly with a fork or a whisk.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook slowly for 10 to 20 minutes. As it begins to brown, stir it constantly and steadily. It will foam up in the beginning, but that will stop as it cooks.
3. Watch the color carefully. Cook it until it is about the color of peanut butter. For an easy color check, keep a few pennies nearby: It should be about the color of an old penny, not a shiny new one.
4. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof container with a lid. Set aside at room temperature for up to 3 days. (If you're going to keep it much longer, refrigerate or freeze it.) Before using, carefully pour off any oil that has risen to the top.
YIELD: 10 to 12 servings.