This is a recipe we’ve adapted from Jamie Oliver for making your gravy ahead of time. It’s really brilliant!
Makes 1 litre
2 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly sliced
2 onions, peeled and quartered
5 fresh bay leaves
5 fresh sage leaves
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 star anise
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
8 chicken wings
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons plain flour
60 ml port
2 heaped dessert spoons cranberry sauce, for finishing
Preheat the oven to 200º C. Put the vegetables, herbs and star anise into a roasting tray. Scatter the bacon on top. Cut the chicken wings in half to help release more of their flavour. Put them in the pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a few pinches of salt and pepper then toss everything together and put the tray in the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
Take the pan out of the oven, and put it on a hob over a low heat and use a potato masher break everything up. Keep mashing, moving and scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you go. Gradually mix in the flour to thicken the mixture. The longer you let everything fry, the darker your gravy will be. When the flour is combined add the port and cook until it has almost all but disappeared. 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.
When it’s reached the consistency you’re looking for, check the seasoning then push it through a sieve into a large bowl. Really push and mash everything through so you get as much flavour as possible. Discard anything left behind. Once it has cooled down to room temperature put it into containers or freezer bags and pop it in your freezer. You’ll finish it off on Christmas Day.
Finishing the gravy
To finish the gravy, take your it out of the freezer when you’re ready to cook your turkey. That way, it will defrost as your turkey cooks. When the turkey is perfectly cooked, put a carving fork inside the cavity and use that to pick the bird up and tilt it over the pan so all of the juices inside run out.
Spoon away as much of the fat as possible, then pour your pre-made 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 and pieces from the bottom of the pan. Have a taste then add the cranberry sauce. It won’t taste sweet but it will add a wicked background flavour.
Once your gravy is piping hot, strain it through a sieve and into a pan. Leave that on the lowest heat to keep warm until you’re ready to serve. Skim away any fat that rises to the top and add any extra resting juices from the turkey before serving.
We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours