The day before Thanksgiving is my major cooking day. I like to get a lot of things out of the way the day before so that Thanksgiving day is low key -- baste the turkey, cook some veggies, heat the rolls, stir up the gravy, and say thanks.
I made my gravy base the other day, and it is waiting for the drippings from the cooked turkey. Here is how you make it:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large onions, thinly sliced (I use sweet onions)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and saute until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally so they don't stick. You are slowly carmelizing the onions. Add the rosemary and thyme, then the cornstarch, and stir for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and honey, simmer about 2 minutes. It will seem gloppy and smell quite sharply of the vinegar, but this is all good. I puree this mixture with an immersion blender, let it cool, and then put it in the fridge until Thanksgiving day.
Cook your turkey the way you usually do... I run my fingers between the skin & breast of the turkey and stuff some fresh herbs in there -- rosemary, basil, thyme -- whatever I have on hand. I still have parsley growing happily in the garden right now, so I'm going to put that in this year.
When you cook your turkey, baste it with chicken stock. I do 3/4 to 1 cup broth every 30 minutes or so. When the turkey is done cooking, strain the liquid into a large, heat proof measuring cup. Spoon the fat off the top. Take your refrigerated gravy base and heat it in a large saucepan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch, then 8 cups of juices from the turkey. Boil until the gravy is reduced to about 7 cups, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Season, if necessary, with salt and pepper.
This is the most delicious turkey gravy recipe I've ever had.