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Cider Thanksgiving Gravy

Cider gravy is an old recipe, dating back at least as far as Fannie Farmer. (You can find it in her original 1896 cookbook. However, I have started over with this recipe, simply altering the basic Thanksgiving gravy with the addition of cider. I prefer to make my own stock on Thanksgiving day by slowly simmering the giblets, not including the liver, in lots of water in a medium saucepan. It is even better if you cut up the pieces (neck and wingtips in particular) and saute them briefly in some oil before adding the water.

Drippings from one roasted turkey

2 shallots, peeled and diced

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade; see above)

1 cup apple cider (not apple juice)

6 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons flour

As soon as the turkey is done, remove turkey and rack from roasting pan and pour off the drippings into a tall, narrow container or measuring cup. Let rest for 15 minutes so the fat rises to the top. Place the roasting pan on two medium burners and saute the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. (If your roasting pan cannot be placed directly onto burners, you can use a skillet instead.) Meanwhile, spoon off the fat from the drippings and discard. Reserve 1/2 cup of the defatted liquid. Add the chicken stock, cider, reserved drippings and thyme. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and reduce by one-third, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Knead softened butter and flour together into a paste and whisk into gravy to thicken. Simmer for a couple minutes more and check seasonings before serving.

Recipes from Chris Kimball and America's Test Kitchen.

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