At Thanksgiving and Christmas, the golden brown essence of caramelized turkey drippings, blended with flour and broth, yield a gravy that adds to the flavor of the holiday.

As the American diet has changed during the past few years, gravy has all but disappeared, and only on the most special of occasions do we allow ourselves the indulgence of this hearty sauce.

Making gravy in a Mauviel roasting pan

5 different turkey gravy recipes

The turkey drippings, both the browned bits and fat, provide the color and flavor needed for good gravy. Salt and pepper are essential ingredients, as they enrich the natural flavors. The quality of any gravy is enhanced by adding turkey stock, wine or apple cider. When turkey gravy is draped across the turkey slices, herb stuffing, rice or potatoes, the meal is at its best. (Gravy is also an essential ingredient for hot turkey sandwiches enjoyed in the post-Thanksgiving turkey leftover period.)

Here, the National Turkey Federation offers some suggestions for preparing Basic Turkey Gravy as well as four other recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas. For some variety, stir in one or more of the following to your cooked gravy: coarsely chopped cooked turkey giblets, 1/3 cup sherry, 1/2 pound thinly-sliced sautéed mushrooms.

Basic Turkey Gravy recipe
Ingredients
  • Reserved neck, heart, and gizzard from the turkey giblets package
  • 1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium celery rib, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 turkey liver (also found in giblets package)
  • 3 T fat from poultry drippings
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
Directions

Gravy Boat by Alessi over Libeco Harvest LinenIn a three quart saucepan over high heat, place neck, heart, gizzard, vegetables, and salt in enough water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add liver and cook 15 minutes longer. Strain broth into a large bowl. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

To make the gravy, remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour the poultry dripping through a sieve into a 4-cup measuring cup.

Add 1 cup giblet broth to the roasting pan and stir until crusty brown bits are loosened: pour the deglazed liquid/broth into the 4-cup measure. Let the mixture stand a few minutes until the fat rises to the top.

Over medium heat, spoon 3 tablespoons fat from the poultry drippings into a 2 quart or larger saucepan. Whisk flour and salt into heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden.

Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings. Add remaining broth and enough water to the poultry drippings to equal 3 1/2 cups. Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings/broth mixture. Cook and stir until gravy boils and is slightly thick.

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Turkey Giblet Gravy recipe
Ingredients
  • Reserved neck, heart, and gizzard from the turkey giblets package
  • 1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium celery rib, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 turkey liver (also found in giblets package)
  • 3 T fat from poultry drippings
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
Directions

In a three quart saucepan over high heat, place neck, heart, gizzard, vegetables, and salt in enough water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add liver and cook 15 minutes longer. Strain broth into a large bowl. Pull the cooked neck meat off the bones and discard bones. Coarsely chop the neck meat and cook giblets. Cover and keep the broth and giblets separately in the refrigerator until needed.

To make the gravy, remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour the poultry dripping through a sieve into a 4-cup measuring cup.

Add 1 cup giblet broth to the roasting pan and stir until crusty brown bits are loosened: pour the deglazed liquid/broth into the 4-cup measure. Let the mixture stand a few minutes until the fat rises to the top.

Over medium heat, spoon 3 tablespoons fat from the poultry drippings into a 2 quart or larger saucepan. Whisk flour and salt into heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden.

Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings. Add remaining broth and enough water to the poultry drippings to equal 3 1/2 cups. Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings/broth mixture.

Cook and stir until gravy boils and is slightly thick. Stir reserved giblets into cooked gravy, reheat to simmering and serve.

Turkey Sausage Gravy recipe

Provided by Chefs Robert and Ouida Merrifield of the Polo Grill in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey (dark and light meat)
  • 1-1/2 ounces butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Directions

Brown ground turkey in oil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to browned turkey, stirring in melted butter. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup flour. Whisk in cream and blend thoroughly.

Add seasonings. Stir in turkey stock for flavoring and to desired consistency. Hold warm for service.

 

Apple Cider Gravy recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted (or margarine)
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Directions

In saucepan over medium heat, bring giblets and 4 cups water to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.

Strain broth and discard giblets. Skim fat from roasting pan juices, reserving 1/4 cup fat.

Add cider to pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits; reduce heat and simmer, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

In saucepan, over low heat, combine reserved fat and flour; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cider mixture and then giblet broth. Increase heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in sage and remaining salt and pepper.

 

Guiltless Turkey Gravy recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups turkey stock and defattted pan juices (whatever you lack in pan juices, make up for in stock)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring stock and pan juices to a boil. Meanwhile, blend the cornstarch and water until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling pan juices, continue to stir until gravy has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Photo credit(s): Both photos thanks to Didriks

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