Drum roll please…

November 19, 2006 on 6:02 pm | By | In Food Musings | Comments Off on Drum roll please…



Clearly the turkey roasted in the conventional oven is much more picture perfect. While the one roasted in the Aroma oven cooked much more quickly (it actually got a bit overdone), the top didn’t brown, nor did the veggies caramelize at the bottom. Fortunately the conventionally-roasted turkey provided plenty of caramelization for some absolutely fabulous gravy.

Here’s a close-up of the Aroma turkey:

Aroma turkey


And here’s a closeup of turkey No. 2:

Roaster turkey


I again turned to Cook’s Illustrated for the gravy recipe. But first, I must digress and tell a story of a past gravy-making experience. The year was 2002, the first Thanksgiving after I had launched my personal chef business. We once again gathered at my darling’s cousin’s place, where they had roasted up a ginormous 25-pound turkey (which produced a ton of delectable juices). Normally Grandma Louise was in charge of making the gravy, but as she was getting on in years, we decided it would be best to give her a break. I was conscripted into service.

I set about making the roux, oblivious to what was going on behind me. Turns out the two sister cousins — neither of whom cook on a regular basis — were discussing just what to do with the pan juices. WHY they didn’t ask me, I’ll never know. When my roux was ready I asked for the juices. The cousins looked at each other, then at me, with sheepish expressions on their faces. Turns out they had determined the juices WEREN’T NEEDED and they poured them down the bathtub drain (the kitchen drain was clogged, otherwise I may have noticed what was going on). Disaster! Fortunately one sister had the foresight to pick up some gravy base from Williams-Sonoma, but it just wasn’t the same. Okay, enough digressing.

I strained both pans of juices and placed all the veggies back in the conventional roasting pan. I deglazed the pan with a couple of cups of white wine and a couple of cups of my homemade turkey stock. After scraping up all the browned bits I reduced everything by half, then strained it yet again. Meanwhile, my darling painstakenly defatted the rest of the pan juices. After cooking the roux until it turned a light brown with a nutty aroma, I whisked in the pan juices. In my humble opinion, it’s some of the best darn gravy I’ve ever tasted!

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