Instead of doing things the way they’ve always been done, here are recipes for Thanksgiving 2020 that throw tradition out the window — at least just this once — and show how the classics can be much easier — and more fun — when you focus on highlighting the qualities in each that really matter.
The turkey’s extra bits contribute the most flavor to this purposefully simple-tasting gravy. But if you want to add other flavors — like a sprig of rosemary, thyme or sage, or dried chiles — add them with the organ meats so they infuse into the stock. This gravy can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Simply return to a boil over medium heat before serving.
Cut the neck up into 2-inch pieces, then place them and the gizzards in a small saucepan. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer, cover the pan loosely, and let the stock cook gently for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the stock through a sieve set over a bowl to remove the solids. If you like, chop up the gizzard pieces and return to the stock; otherwise, discard the solids or give them to your dog.
Pour the stock back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, use a fork to mash the butter with the flour until evenly combined into a clumpy paste. Scrape the paste into the simmering stock and whisk until it returns to a boil and thickens. Continue cooking the gravy, whisking occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season the gravy with the salt and some pepper. Taste and add more seasoning, if you like. Keep gravy warm until ready to serve.
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