This recipe for Spanish Christmas gravy is guaranteed to please and add that extra special touch on the day, in fact just making it smells of Christmas. The beauty of this Christmas gravy is you can make it in advance and it goes perfectly with either roast turkey or chicken. Although not as popular as many fish dishes, the Spanish do eat turkey and or chicken on the big day but often they have their ‘Christmas dinner’ on the evening of the 24th December.
How to make Spanish Christmas gravy:
25 minutes preparation
2 ½ -3 hours cooking
Makes about 2 litres
Equipment: Terracotta roasting tray
4 chicken wings
2 chicken legs separated into thighs and drummers
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
4 fresh sage leaves
4 whole cloves
200g sliced serrano ham
Freshly ground black pepper
Spanish Jerez or sherry
6 tablespoons plain flour
3 litres hot water
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
2. Trim the tips of the chicken wings and break them up a bit, separate the chicken legs into thighs and drumsticks.
3. In a large terracotta roasting tray place your prepared vegetables, herbs cloves and chicken. Put your serrano ham slices on top and drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together to ensure a good coating of oil and herbs and then cook in the oven uncovered for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
4. Once the chicken is cooked and the meat falling off the bone, transfer the roasting tray to the hob and over a medium heat mix everything up together, scraping the bottom to get all the goodness. Use a fork to tear the meat from the bones and a potato masher is great for squashing all the vegetables and meat together. This will release as much flavour as possible from all the ingredients. We always enjoy a glass of Spanish cava at this point to help get into the Christmas mood! It is not compulsory!
5. Keep mixing, bashing and stirring for about ten minutes – remember the longer you let the ingredients fry off the deeper in colour your gravy will be.
6. Put the kettle on to heat up your 3 litres of water for the next stage.
7. Now gradually add the flour, a tablespoon at a time, mixing, bashing and stirring all the time.
8. Once all the flour is worked in, let it cook out for a few minutes before you add the hot water. Again do this gradually, stirring all the time.
9. Once all the water is mixed in, bring the tray to the boil and let it boil for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then lower the heat right down, add a good splash of Jerez and let the gravy simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the gravy seems still too thin, then leave it simmering for a further 5 minutes or so. Similarly if it looks like it is getting to thick, add a splash of water if necessary.
10. Once you have the gravy to the thickness you want, check the seasoning again and remove the tray from the heat.
11. Place a sieve over a large bowl and gradually pour in the gravy, mixing and squashing all the ingredients down as you go. We find this easier with two people, one to pour and one to push and squash!
12. Once all the gravy has been sieved out and if you can resist the temptation to drink it at that very moment, leave it to cool and then transfer to a freezer bag or suitable container and place in the freezer. It will keep for up to a month.
13. On the day, remove the gravy from the freezer while the turkey or chicken is roasting and leave to thaw out.
14. Once your turkey or chicken is done, remove it from the roasting tray and remove as much fat from the cooking juices as possible.
15. Add your pre prepared gravy and turn up the heat, scraping the bottom of the tray for even more goodness. Leave to cook for 5 minutes or so.
16. Sieve the gravy into a pan and leave simmering on the lowest heat until you are ready to serve.
Spanish Christmas gravy recipe by Gayle at Appetizing English