How can I make brown bits for turkey gravy?

sheilajoyce_gwNovember 25, 2011

Ever since we switched to having fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving, I have not had any nice brown bits in the bottom or the roasting pan for gravy making because the bird exudes so many juices during roasting that the bits never brown.

So how do others get around that problem? I do make gravy with the drippings and juices separated, but I miss the brown bits. Help.

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It is rediculously simple to get "brown" gravy.

There are two kinds of soy sauce, light and dark (supermarkets mostly sell the light kind, get the dark kind in Asian stores).

One table spoon of dark soy sauce makes gravy very brown.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 3:26PM
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I've ONLY used a fresh, nat'l turkey for 25+ years (Huntsinger in So. Calif.) and I get tons of brown bits, so I'm confused how this would happen to you. I'm clarifying to you that my turkey NEVER has been injected with the "8-12%" salt solution, etc. as many are but buyers often neglect to see the fine print. My procedure is to Pam my roasting pan and rack, place the washed and cleaned/trimmed turkey on the rack and THEN proceed to season it all over, including the insides, along with a final sprinkling of paprika for color all over. Some of all of this, of course, falls to the bottom of the roasting pan. I then always cook breast-side down for first 45 min. @ 425 F. and then breast side up for the remaining time at 325F., rubbing it with softened butter just once during cooking. I also tilt the unstuffed bird just prior to removing it from the pan for any add'l drippings that were inside. I have TONS of brown bits in the pan + about 1/2" at least of dk. brown drippings. I then separate this, commence with the gravy makings in the same roasting pan and then add in at the right time the cup or two of turkey broth (+ chp'd giblets and neck bits) I cooked earlier with the giblets, neck, wing tips, onion and water that boiled for 1.5 hrs. The color is DARK brown with NO soy sauce or anything else added (sorry, DCarch). Delish.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 3:56PM
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If I was getting a LOT of juices early on, might suck them up with baster. Pan needs to go a little "dry" to get that brown stuff happening. DON'T toss any juice you might remove... set aside and use to baste.

Though I like soy sauce in a lot of things, woudn't use with turkey... kinda salty?? We always had Kitchen Bouquet around. Have NO idea what it really is, but a small amount (maybe teaspoon or so) can turn tasty but pale gravy nice and brown.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Soy sauce may make your gravy brown, but it won't taste anything like the fond in the bottom of a pan.
How hot in your oven when cooking the bird?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 4:47PM
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Soy sauce adds a lot of complexity to the taste, not the same as doing things the regular way, but a table spoon is not going to change things substantially. Good soy sauce is not very salty.

If you have problems making your gravy brown, as the OP seems to have, this is a very quick, easy, delicious and sure way of doing it.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I use a product called Brown Gravy Sauce by Dynasty... I've used other brands and they all work just fine... A few drops is all you need for 2 cups of gravy and it doesn't alter the taste one bit... I use it mainly for beef stew but it works for turkey gravy too...


    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 11:25PM
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