Over the holidays I had a chance to roast a turkey and make gravy. It was a twenty pound bird and I somehow ended up with just under a cup of fat in the roasting pan. The fat was fairly clear and not that dark from the roasting: cooled it was a nice yellow colour.
I’ve been trying to make traditional gravy and not adding a packaged flavouring and thickener: that means stock and pan drippings added to a roux. The day before I made a small batch of stock from the turkey neck, heart, liver and wings. The wings really helped the stock out but a wingless bird is tricky to carve since there’s nothing to hold it in place, but I digress.
The roux was made with equal parts flour and warm rendered turkey fat; you whisk the two together until the raw flour taste is cooked out and the mixture takes on a golden colour, somewhere between two and five minutes. I was shocked how strong a turkey flavour this produced over using butter in the roux and is now a staple of my gravy from now on.
I even had a little turkey fat left over so it joined my other renderings in the fridge: bacon fat, pork fat, chicken fat, duck fat.