This is how we made the gravy in advance for the clan at Thanksgiving. Since I was going to be roasting turkeys in La Caja China, there would not be any drippings for use in the gravy, so we made it all in advance to reduce the stress of the big day. This was easy and tasty. It is adapted from The Food Lab, with the addition of a little port to give a subtle sweetness to the gravy. The other special ingredients are the soy sauce and marmite. Small quantities of them provide an unami boost. This recipe will make three cups. We tripled it for the clan
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
4 cups homemade or low sodium canned chicken broth
1 tsp. soy sauce
¼ tsp. marmite
1 Tbs. port
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour with a whisk, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the flour/oil mixture is light brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth in a thin stream, whisking all the time to blend it in. Add the soy sauce, marmite, and port. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it cook, stiring ocasionally until it has reduced to about 3 cups and has the right thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper. None may be needed depending on how much salt is in the chicken broth.
Serve hot. This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Note Nov. 2019: This year, I made the stock from 3 lbs. of chicken necks and 1-1/2 lbs. of chicken feet, bought at New Grand Mart. After browning them in oil (the feet don’t really brown), I simmered them in a pot of water with carrots, onions, and celery tops. This made 12 cups of stock, so I tripled the recipe above.
To enhance the gravy, I sauteed 4 oz. of chopped brown mushrooms and 1/2 of a large onion (chopped) in the butter before adding the flour. I seasoned to taste at the end after reducing the gravy. Since this stock had no sodium at all in it, I had to add a fair amount of salt until the gravy tasted right. I made the gravy 1-1/2 weeks before Thanksgiving and stored it in the freezer until Thanksgiving Day.