Making gravy is more of an art than a science. But you can make this, I believe in you. Actually, I take that back, you must make this gravy because it has bacon drippings! The original recipe calls for pan drippings from roasting a turkey.
I wanted to make this gravy ahead of time, so I came up with bacon drippings. I knew I needed fat to make the roux (fat and flour mixture), and I always have on hand a mason jar of bacon drippings. Problem solved...sort of.
What if it tasted weird? The thought of it tasting bad didn't cross my mind, the thought of it tasting weird, did. Bacon makes everything taste better, right? But a half a cup of bacon fat for turkey neck gravy, I had my doubts. Well, what do you know this gravy is so good!
TURKEY NECK GRAVY WITH BACON DRIPPINGS
Adapted from Cookbook Heaven
Makes 4 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 turkey neck
5 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 whole black pepper corns
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) flour
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) bacon drippings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, season to taste
<making the turkey broth>
Heat oil over medium heat in a sauce pan and add the onions, cook until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the turkey neck, water, bouillon cubes, celery and black peppercorns.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; turn heat down to low and simmer for 2 hours.
Strain and reserve turkey broth and turkey neck; discard the other stuff. (Add boxed chicken broth to reserved liquid if less than 4 cups)
Pick meat off of neck bones, and set aside.
<making the roux>
Heat bacon drippings in a heavy pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
Whisk in flour, gradually; until you have a smooth paste no lumps; cook for 4 minutes.
<making the gravy>
Whisk in reserved warm turkey broth to the roux.
Continue to whisk until thickened.
Add the reserved turkey neck meat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
You can make the turkey broth the day before.
The turkey broth needs to be warm before you add it to the roux or drippings/flour mixture, you can reheat it on the stove top or in the microwave.
You must use a whisk when making the roux and adding the turkey broth.
Remember you should have 4 cups of the reserved turkey broth after its been strained, if you don't have 4 cups, add chicken broth till you do.
If you don't have bacon drippings, use turkey drippings.
To reheat gravy, you can warm it in a saucepan over low heat and let it simmer. Add water or chicken broth, reason with salt and pepper if need be.