Use a Ziploc Bag to Separate the Fat From Your Turkey Drippings

While a basic roux and some decent stock will get you “good enough” gravy, it’s the drippings that really make it praiseworthy. Drippings are exactly what they sound like — as your turkey is cooking, the fat and juices that cook off are intensely flavored. Unlike stock, they have a complexity and depth that echos whatever you’re dressing with the gravy. The trick is separating those juices from the fat. There are two ways to do it: The simplest is to let the juices cool overnight in the refrigerator. The fat will float to the top, turn a lighter color, solidify, and you can just pull it off the top in one piece. The second method is to use a fat separator. It looks like a clear teapot, with a low spout and a lid with holes that you pour through. It works with the same physics: Fat rises and the juices settle to the bottom. Let’s say you don’t have time to go with the first method and you don’t have a fat separator to use the second method. Fear not — there’s always the Ziploc bag. Pour the drippings and fat into the bag, stand it upright, then leave it alone for 10 minutes. Make sure the top is zipped tight. Once you see the fat is at the top, take out two bowls. Cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and the drippings will flow out into the first bowl. Just before the end of the drippings — before the fat starts to run through the hole — quickly move the bag to the second bowl and empty the rest of the bag. Now that everything is separated, you can do what you need with the drippings, free of most of the fat.