turkey and gravy for Thanksgiving

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year as our children were busy with work and other plans, so my husband and I enjoyed the first Thanksgiving in 40 years with just the two of us.  We met in college, and since we have been together, we have always shared the day with someone else besides ourselves.  I really enjoyed the day with him, and our meal was intimate and celebratory as well. We have much to be thankful for, and especially for each other.  I prepared a smaller turkey and smaller portions of several of our favorite side dishes.

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I actually enjoy cooking and creating something so beautiful to eat and enjoy, along with the whole process of planning a menu, selecting the ingredients, and preparing the meal.  I usually try one new recipe every year, and this year I made Ina’s Make ahead turkey gravy with onions and sage from her new cookbook that was released in November–Ina Garten Make it Ahead.  The gravy is very similar to her onion gravy that I have featured on the blog another year.

It was delicious and it will be my new “go-to” gravy recipe.  I used fresh sage leaves from my garden that were still plentiful in November, as well as the other herbs to season my turkey–thyme, rosemary, and parsley.  The garlic was also from my garden.

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To make the gravy base a day or two ahead–Gather these ingredients:

3/4 stick margarine, 1 large red onion, 4 garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons flour, 4 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoons red wine, 10 large sage leaves, kosher salt and pepper, and one cup of Pinot Grigio to be added the day of serving.

Melt the margarine over medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and garlic.  Stir for 15 to 20 minutes until the onion browns.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add stock, red wine, sage, salt and pepper.  Cook for 20 minutes. Allow to come to room temperature.  Strain and remove solids.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

When turkey is done, remove turkey to rest, and add wine to the turkey pan.  Boil and simmer.  Add gravy base and whisk into the pan. Simmer until well combined.  Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper as needed.  Serve in a warm gravy boat.

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