Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Select one large or two small potatoes for each person, adding one-two additional for extra helpings. 6 medium sized potatoes makes approximately 4 servings.  Select firm potatoes with no mushy spots.  Discard any that are green or sprouting.  Remove eyes.

The best potatoes for boiling are new potatoes.  Yukon gold are also very good as mashed potatoes.

In saucepan, fry out one large sweet onion, sliced thinly, in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Remove from heat when onion begins to brown.

Scrub, peel and quarter each potato.  Place in covered saucepan with 2 cups boiling water or chicken broth.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Boil gently for about 30 minutes or just until tender when pierced with a fork.  Be careful not to overboil.

Drain when done, return to pan and shake over lowest heat setting, 1-2 to dry.  Add 8 Tablespoons butter to melt.  Using potato masher, mix in salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.  Add 1/4 cup cream or milk.  Add onion.  Keep warm until serving.  Potatoes will not reheat well so serve immediately.

NOTE: Do not use food processor or mixer to mash potatoes.  Use only a potato masher or ricer.

Variation:  Add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill before mashing.

Gravy

Remove giblets from turkey when preparing, and place in medium saucepan with 1 can chicken broth and water to cover.  Add 1 large onion and one cup celery, sliced thinly.  Chop celery leaves if available and add to broth.  Add freshly ground pepper and 1 teaspoon soy sauce or 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, and 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley  and a sprig of fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon each of dry herb if this is all that's available. If you prefer, you can wrap herbs in cheesecloth and remove before serving but this is not necessary.  If you do so, you can also add 1/2 bay leaf and several whole black pepper cloves.

Simmer this broth several hours on low heat, while the turkey cooks.  When turkey is done, add pan drippings (reserve 1/2 cup) to the broth after pouring off as much of the fat as is possible.  To deglaze turkey roasting pan, add 1/4 cup white port wine and scrape off browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Add to broth, simmer 10-15 minutes to cook off any remaining alcohol. 

In a heavy bottomed frying pan, place 1/4 cup pan reserved pan drippings and 1 tablespoon butter.  Blend in 1/4 cup flour.  If you're not familiar with gravy making, you can use Gold Medal Wondra instant mixing flour to avoid lumpy gravy.  In this case, use half the flour measurement (2 tablespoons).

Cook slowly on low heat until mixture turns a mocha brown, being careful not to burn.  If you're not comfortable with this step, you can use 1/4 teaspoon "gravy master" instead but will sacrifice some flavor.  When mixture thickens, slowly add hot broth (from above).  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring and adding additional flour until gravy reaches desired consistency.

You can optionally add 1 cup fresh or canned mushrooms during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

 

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