Get-ahead gravy

Get-ahead gravy

dressings / sauces | Makes 1 litre

"Open your mind to a slightly radical idea: make your gravy a few days, or weeks, before Christmas," says Jamie. "You’ll have it on standby, so you can finish it on the day. I use chicken wings to give it that roasted flavour base. They’re dead cheap and the most flavourful part of the bird."

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Put the veg, herbs and star anise into a sturdy bottomed roasting tray. Scatter over the bacon. Break the chicken wings open, then put them on a board and bash them with a rolling pin; this will release more flavour. Put them in the pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a few pinches of salt and pepper then toss it all and put the tray in the oven to cook for 1 hour, or till the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
2. Take the pan out of the oven, put it on a hob over a low heat and use a potato masher to really grind everything up. Keep mashing and scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan. Gradually mix in the flour to thicken it up. The longer you let everything fry, the darker your gravy will be. When the flour is combined pour in 2 litres of hot water, turn the heat up and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, till thickened, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want to add sherry or port for flavour, do that now.
3. When it’s reached the consistency you want, check the seasoning, then strain it through a sieve into a bowl. Really push everything down to get all the flavour. Discard anything left behind. Once it’s cooled to room temperature put it into containers or freezer bags and pop it in your freezer. You’ll finish it off on Christmas day.
4. To finish the gravy, take it out of the freezer when you’re ready to cook your turkey so it defrosts as your bird cooks. When the turkey is cooked, put a carving fork inside the cavity and use it to pick the bird up and tilt it over the pan so all its juices run out. Spoon off any fat except 1½ tablespoons, then pour your premade gravy into the pan with the rest of the turkey juices. Bring it to the boil over the hob and scrape all those flavourful bits from the bottom of the pan. Have a taste then add the cranberry sauce to the pan. It won’t taste sweet but it will add a wicked background flavour.
5. Once your gravy is piping hot, strain it through a sieve and into a pan. Leave that on the lowest heat to tick away till you’re ready to serve. Skim away any fat and add any resting juices from the turkey before serving.

 

Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo David Loftus


from Issue 7

ingredients

• 2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
• 2 carrots, roughly sliced
• 2 onions, quartered
• 5 each fresh bay and sage leaves
• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 2 star anise
• 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
• 8 chicken wings
• 30ml olive oil
• 4 tbsp plain flour
• 60ml sherry or port (optional)
• 2 dessertspoons cranberry sauce

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