I will aplogize right now for not having any pictures. We were all ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner and really, sliced turkey with some gravy isn't exactly that exciting. The whole, roasted turkey did look great though.
Anyway, this year I made the best gravy I have ever made in my life. I am so excited as gravy has been a challenge for me - until now. I've tried the make-ahead where you roast turkey wings etc., make stock, the whole nine yards. To me, it was not worth the trouble. I've tried random recipes and methods. This recipe was easy and tasted so good. I am sure it was also because of the juices from the turkey too - which I brine and is the only way I will make turkey. It is the best turkey, period. It is a little extra work but the end result is worth it - moist, juicy, flavorful turkey.
Adapted from Alton Brown
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon ice water
1 turkey - I used a 16 pounder
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and rerigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early the on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey, breast side down in brine, cover and refrigerate in a cool area (like a garage or basement) overnight (or as little as six hours). Turn turkey over once (I don't always do this).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Remove bird from the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack, coated with oil or nonstick spray, inside a low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck back wings and coat liberally with canola oil.
I then roast on the lowest rack of the oven until the thickest part of the breast reaches 161 degrees. At about 2/3 of the way through roasting, lightly shield the breast with aluminum foil. Let turkey rest 30 minutes before carving.
Classic Turkey Gravy
Drippings from 1 roasted turkey
1 to 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock or broth
4 to 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
Pour turkey drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup or fat separator. Skim the fat reserving 2 tablespoons. Add enough broth/stock to measure 2 cups.
In the roasting pan, add the reserved fat from drippings and 1/4 cup flour. Stir to combine. You may need to add a couple more flour. Stir until the fat and flour is smooth and most of the fond is combined.
Transfer this to a saucepan. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in the drippings mixture. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.