Thanksgiving dinner is nothing without gravy—even if the turkey is perfectly moist and the mashed potatoes are the Platonic ideal of creamy, fluffy richness. And nothing disappoints like a lackluster gravy (whether it’s lumpy, greasy, gluey, watery, or bland). Luckily, turkey gravy is easy to master. We’ll show you how.
Note: This turkey gravy recipe assumes you’re roasting a turkey and then using the pan drippings to make the gravy. You can also make gravy ahead of time (using some spare turkey parts), which is a great idea, since there’s no such thing as too much gravy. Plus, the extra batch acts as backup just in case something does go wrong—which it won’t, as long you follow the simple method below!
Here’s What You Need to Make Turkey Gravy
- the roasting pan, reserved turkey neck, and vegetables from our Easy Roast Turkey recipe
- a flat spatula
- a wire mesh strainer
- 1 small heatproof bowl or a fat separator
- 1 medium heatproof bowl
- 1 medium saucepan or skillet
- a balloon whisk
- 1 cup dry white wine or sherry
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 chicken or turkey stock or broth
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked pepper
OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator, $14.95 on Amazon
Easily de-fat your pan drippings so you get all the flavorful juice and none of the grease.
Related Reading: 11 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Thanksgiving Easier on the Cook
Here’s How to Make Turkey Gravy
1. Pour off the excess drippings from the roasting pan into the small bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes for the fat to rise to the top, then skim the fat off with a spoon and discard. Alternatively, you can use a fat separator to quickly de-grease the drippings.
2. Place the roasting pan across two burners over medium heat. Put the onion and celery from inside the roasted turkey, along with the roasted turkey neck, in the pan. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a flat spatula.
3. Add the wine or sherry while scraping the bottom of the pan, and simmer until reduced by half.
4. Add the reserved drippings back into the pan and pour the mixture through the strainer into the medium bowl. Set the bowl aside and discard the solids from the strainer.
5. Melt the butter in the saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When it foams, sprinkle the flour evenly over it.
6. Whisk the flour and butter together and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture (known as a roux) turns the color of peanut butter, about seven minutes.
7. While whisking continuously, slowly add the stock or broth and the reserved pan juices. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, being sure to whisk at the edges of the pan, until the gravy thickens slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 3 cups.
What If You Have Lumpy Gravy?
Being sure to whisk well and incorporating the liquid gradually into the roux is key to preventing lumpy gravy, but if it happens, here’s how to fix it.
NorPro Porcelain Gravy Sauce Boat with Stand and Candle, $19.95 on Amazon
A gravy boat with a warming stand is a great way to keep your perfect gravy at the ideal temp and texture.
For more tips, tricks, hacks, and recipes, see our Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving.
Related Video: A Truly Unexpected Way to Use Leftover Gravy
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