“Save the neck for me, Clark.”

You might remember that line from the movie, Christmas Vacation, when Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) said it to Clark (Chevy Chase). The same request was made of me from my brother Bobby G. (The same guy from Bobby G. Creates Almost Heaven in North Carolina.) I asked him to come the whole way from Raleigh to make the gravy for Thanksgiving.

Gravy as a Verb

If we made gravy a verb, I would say, “I can’t gravy.” Or maybe it’s “I won’t gravy.”

I béchamel, hollandaise, bordelaise, dijonaise, carmelize, but I don’t gravy. Thus, it was gravely important that Bobby show up to gravy for this Thanksgiving.

And, gravy he did.

The Challenge: How to Make Turkey Gravy from a Smoked Turkey

I knew Bobby G. would figure something out.

"Save the neck for me, Clark."

“Save me the neck and the giblets from the turkey, he said. “I also need onion, carrot, celery with leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns, shake flour, and if you can capture any of the turkey drippings from the smoker, I’ll see what I can do.”

I got all the ingredients, including what mom used to call “shake flour” —  aka Gold Medal’s Wondra quick-mixing flour for sauce and gravy. (Guaranteed no lumps or bumps.) But I should have known Bobby would come with a few of his own —  more fresh herbs and a jar of Better than Bouillon organic chicken base.

Bobby G’s Gravy — Thanksgiving 2011

  • Root vegetables: carrot, onion, celery, parsnips, turnips, anything
  • Turkey neck and giblets
  • Herbs: rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, parsley
  • Peppercorns
  • Salt

Save the neck to boil with root vegetables, herbs, and giblets.

Boil the above ingredients a couple of hours. Hint: remove the liver after 30 minutes as it tends to make the stock bitter if boiled too long.

Strain the stock.

Put stock in pan on stove top and bring to a boil. Add shake flour, about two tablespoons of Better than Bouillon and whisk. Flavor with turkey drippings, season to taste.

What About That Smoked Turkey?

Bobby decided to add some captured drippings. The result was a gravy with a slightly smoky flavor…delish!

My Advice

Leave the gravy-ing to the experts. I’m glad I did.