That holiday with the turkey and the family is just around the corner and I could not be more excited. I love any excuse that encourages me to over-indulge on food without any morsel of guilt. Well, not entirely.
For me, gravy is kind of a big deal. It’s that side dish that goes well with everything: turkey, mashed potatoes, chicken, rice, all of it. Gravy adds a special, classic touch to the Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe is very hearty and easy to make.
Gravy can seem a little intimidating at first because it is a step-by-step process and it requires some patience. But once you break down this recipe, you’ll see how simple gravy really is. I’m separating this into two parts since you can’t start the gravy without any fat. Besides, you can totally use this method for another type of poultry in ten more days.
I’ll start off with the chicken and then ease you into the saucy part.
Mushroom Gravy with Herb Buttered Chicken
Makes about 3 cups and 3-4 servings from chicken
Chicken (Part One)
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
Half an onion, cut into demi rings
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Gravy (Part Two)
1 tablespoon chicken fat
4 cremini mushrooms
1/8 cup flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
This step is completely optional but I usually like to brine my meat because it adds extra flavor and keeps the meat tender. I seasoned with just salt and pepper; I let the chicken sit overnight in the fridge for about 14 hours. Let’s continue.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Now, onto the herb-buttered glaze, melt butter in a hot pan over medium heat. Let the butter simmer for about 30 seconds and toss in the rosemary and sage – leave the herbs in the pan for 60 seconds. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Place the chicken in the center of a large roasting pan and onions around the edges. Then, season the chicken and onions generously with salt and pepper. Get the herbs from the pan and tuck them safely under the chicken. Brush the chicken evenly with the hot butter. Make sure it gets coated evenly – this method will give the chicken its golden color and crispy skin.
Put the chicken in the oven and let it roast for about an hour. Check on it and rotate about halfway through. The chicken is done when the thickest part of the chicken is 170-175F. Set the chicken aside and let it rest. Save the fat and onions for some delicious gravy making.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat up the chicken fat and onions over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown. Once the onions and mushrooms are browned, let the butter melt in the pan. Then, add flour and whisk until the wet ingredients are homogenous. Tip: If you want heavier gravy or if you want the gravy to reduce faster, add more flour and butter.
Once homogenous, pour broth in and add the bay leaf. Bring to boil and then to a simmer. Do not season until the end. You have a lot of liberty with this reduction process since it will depend on how thin or thick you want the gravy to be. I like mine to be somewhere in the middle.
When it is close to the texture you want, add the balsamic vinegar to balance out the flavor. Throw the fresh thyme in and keep reducing until you have the desired thickness.
Finally, season with salt and pepper. Add a shake of cayenne for some excitement.
Serve right away. If you’re saving it for later, it will get gelatinous in the fridge. Don’t worry; heating it will bring it back to its original form.