Southern turkey giblet gravy is a necessity when Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day arrives and the cooks are preparing to serve the turkey with all the “trimmings”. The turkey, cornbread dressing and potatoes are the “meat” of the meal, but the southern giblet gravy is the must-have “topping”. Southern cooks take great pride in their gravies and no short-cuts are allowed! My grandmother, my mother and I insist on making the stock in the manner described.
Ingredients: (Makes for 6 to 8 adults with enough for left-overs)
3 quarts of stock
6 eggs hard boiled
½ quart of cold water
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
3 quarts of turkey stock:
The stock is the most important ingredient so it is made with great care. No self-respecting southern cook would even consider using “store bought” stock. If you cook your turkey in water, add the giblets while cooking and the stock will be ready when the turkey is done.
If you prefer a “dry” cooked turkey, the stock can be made by boiling 2 or 3 turkey wings or 2 turkey legs with ¼ pound of chicken livers in 3 quarts of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon sage. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Add water if necessary to maintain approximately 3 quarts of liquid. Remove the meat and set aside. The stock was often cooked the day before the big meal as it left another burner open on the stove for the day of the “heavy” cooking.
Just before dinner is ready to be served, bring the stock to a rolling boil. Add ½ to ¾ cups of turkey meat, finely chopped. Use the meat from the neck, wings or legs cooked with the stock. Finely chop any livers or other giblets that came with the turkey and add to the stock.
In a quart jar half filled with cold water, add 1 cup of flour. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until mixed well. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the boiling broth while whisking to avoid lumps. Depending on the thickness of the gravy you desire, you can adjust the amount of flour water or add additional as needed until it is “just right” for your tastes. Reduce heat to medium and boil until thickened (about 5 minutes) and then reduce heat to low. At this point, add salt and pepper to taste.
Once all stirring of the gravy is done, slice each egg, dropping the slices on top of the gravy. Stir the eggs gently into the gravy while trying not to break the slices apart. The gravy is ready to serve with the rest of the meal. If the guests do not like giblets, tell them to dip off the top!
Each time I have shared this recipe, I have tried to think of a simpler way to write the process down. There is no simple way. Good gravies just take time!
From our home to yours….enjoy!
“Cookin’s like religion is….some’s ‘lected an’ some ain’t,
An rules don’t no more mek a cook dan sermons mak a Saint.”