I’ll bet that in your cupboard you’ve got a magic gravy ingredient that will not only season it, but deepen the color and add a richer flavor too. Are you ready for it? Soy sauce.
I know, I know, it sounds surprising to break out the soy sauce at Thanksgiving, but stick with me for a minute. After you’ve browned your flour in the turkey fat, and added your turkey stock to thin the gravy out, taste your gravy. (If you’ve brined your bird, the gravy may already be salty enough.) If the gravy does need salt, however, try adding some soy sauce a small splash at a time. It salts it pretty quickly so be careful not to add too much!
Aside from being handy in the pantry, here’s another reason why soy sauce works so well: it not only adds salt, it adds umami. Not familiar with umami? Welcome to the club! Its said to be the fifth of the food flavors that our tongue can perceive – along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is what gives us the sense of savory-ness in foods like meat, cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. This savory flavor is just what we want in a gravy, and will complement the other umami flavors that are already present in the gravy.
So there you go, give it a try!