Turkey gravy brings every main and side dish on your holiday table into perfect harmony. Gravy adds flavor, moisture, and a distinct creaminess that pairs with mashed potatoes, spiral-sliced ham, green bean casserole, and (of course) your favorite turkey recipe.
Many people simply grab one of those little pouches of pre-mix gravy at the grocery store, but that is sort of a shame because learning how to make turkey gravy from scratch is really quite simple. We’re going to let you know our practically fool-proof method of how to make gravy from turkey drippings for the most authentic and delicious gravy.
How to Make Gravy
Making gravy is an ancient technique that is commonly associated with French cooking. At its most basic, gravy is nothing more than flavor, fat, and liquid cooked to a thick sauce. We have found that most people run into problems making gravy when they try to rush the process or don’t give it enough attention. Follow along as we give you our favorite tips to make a perfect turkey gravy with ease.
Tools You Need
Gravy requires a few tools, starting with a heavy-bottom pan or skillet that is large enough to make a good quantity of gravy at once. A suitable stock pot can also work perfectly well. You’ll need a whisk – one with a sturdy handle that is comfortable to use. You’ll also need to have a mixing bowl or two on hand for the whole process.
Ingredients for Turkey Gravy Recipe
- Drippings from 14-16lb roasted turkey
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp Bearded Butcher Blend Original Seasoning
- 2 tbsp butter
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, marjoram)
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- Optional: Gizzards and neck from the turkey plus additional butter for cooking
- 1 medium onion
Instructions for How to Make Gravy
The classic way to make this gravy uses the neck and gizzards for flavor. Avoid adding the heart or the liver, though, as these will add too much of an organ flavor.
- Start by melting the butter in a heavy pan, then add the onion, seasonings, turkey neck and gizzards. Cook until the gizzards are browned, about 15 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and fresh herbs and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat for about two hours, then strain the broth to remove the herbs.
- When the turkey has finished roasting and is resting, transfer it to a cutting board and carefully pour the drippings into a large jar or measuring cup. Use about a half-cup of the broth to deglaze the roasting pan, returning the remainder to the measuring cup. The fat will naturally separate from the drippings in the cup. You can speed this along a little by putting the cup in the refrigerator. Use a spoon to carefully remove about ½ cup of turkey fat. Discard the remaining fat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the turkey fat. Immediately sprinkle the flour over the fat and use a whisk to constantly stir the mixture as it cooks. This is called a roux and is a basic step in French cooking. The mixture will thicken and brown after about four minutes, but don’t walk away or turn your back as the mixture can quickly burn.
- Slowly incorporate the broth into the fat, whisking aggressively to prevent the flour mixture from clumping. If you add the liquid too quickly, you’ll get lumpy gravy. The gravy will grow as it cooks. If it gets too thick, you can add more liquid to keep the gravy from getting a pasty consistency.
- Add the remainder of the turkey drippings once the broth mixture has come to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot when thickened.
How to Make A Gluten-Free Alternative
Converting this recipe to a gluten-free option is fairly simple. Instead of using flour and making a roux, you will mix about two tablespoons of cornstarch into cold water or cold broth until fully mixed, then gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering broth, whisking carefully. The mixture must come to a boil for the cornstarch to work as a thickener, but you also don’t want the broth too hot when you add the cornstarch. Adding corn starch too quickly or to too hot of liquid will make lumps.
Tips for the Best Gravy Ever
We always save the bones when we roast a turkey or chicken. We take the bones and put them in a large stock pot and cover them with water. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Bring the pot to a simmer and cook for 12-15 hours. You can alternatively use a pressure cooker to make bone broth in about two hours. Using homemade, fresh chicken or turkey broth to make gravy gives you a wonderful, flavorful, and nutritious gravy from turkey drippings.
Simple Recipe, Big Difference
Learning to make gravy at home is easy. If your gravy gets lumpy, it isn’t the end of the world. Simply use a fine strainer and gently pass the gravy through, using a spoon to carefully press the lumps out. Return the gravy to the skillet and heat, stirring carefully to make sure that the lumps are gone.
Homemade turkey gravy is simple to make and is much better than anything that comes in a package. Learning how to make gravy is an easy skill to learn and it makes the best sauce for leftover turkey sandwiches the next day.