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Make ahead turkey gravy recipe

Make ahead turkey gravy recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • Gravy

Avoid the last minute rush and uncertainty by making the gravy for your feast ahead of time! This gravy is freezer-friendly and can be frozen or stored in the fridge for five days. Perfect!

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 18

  • 1.3kg turkey wings
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 2 sticks celery, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 carrots, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 355ml dry white wine
  • 950ml chicken stock
  • 950ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter, or more if needed (optional
  • 60g plain flour
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr ›Ready in:2hr30min

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  2. Place the turkey wings, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic into a roasting tin.
  3. Roast until the turkey wings turn a deep golden brown colour, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer the cooked wings and vegetables to a large pot. Place the roasting tin over 2 hob burners on medium-high heat, then pour the white wine into the roasting tin. Scrape off and dissolve any browned flavour bits from the bottom of the tin into the white wine; heat and scrape the roasting tin until the drippings and wine have reduced to about 120ml. Pour the wine mixture into the saucepan with the turkey wings.
  4. Pour chicken stock and water into the pot, and season with thyme. Push the turkey wings down into the liquid; bring the mixture to the boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Skim off any foam that collects on top. Pour the stock mixture through a colander into a large bowl; pick meat from the wings, if desired, to add to gravy, or discard the spent wings and vegetables. Allow the gravy base to stand for several minutes for the fat to collect into a layer on top, and skim as much fat as possible. Transfer the skimmed fat into a saucepan. There should be at least 120ml of turkey fat; add butter to make this amount if necessary.
  5. Whisk the flour into the turkey fat over medium heat until the flour mixture becomes smooth and golden brown. Gradually whisk in the stock until the gravy comes to the boil and thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the gravy to cool, then chill in the fridge or freeze. Reheat almost to boiling to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(87)

Reviews in English (71)

by Wyattdogster

Review update: I make this every year and it's a lifesaver for me. Just wanted to share that I could not find turkey wings anywhere this year so I used a pack of two turkey drumsticks, and the gravy came out just as good as it always has!This recipe was a life saver for me, I struggle with gravy and get so stressed out! I made this the day before Thanksgiving as I was prepping as much as I could for the meal. It roasted and simmered for hours and the house smelled just like a glorious turkey was in the oven. I did add some poultry seasoning to the blend. The gravy came out awesomely delicious and all I did at serving time was reheat in a saucepan and whisked in a spoonful or two of the turkey drippings from the roasting pan. Excellent recipe, thanks!-30 Nov 2010

by Jody

This is 5-Star Restaurant kind of Gravy! The only reason that I'm giving this a 4 instead of a 5 is because you need to change your recipe description to warn that this isn't for beginning cooks. The instructions nor ingredients aren't difficult, but this took me (an ntermediate cook) over four hours, and five pots/pans/bowls, to complete. Scrumptious! Delicous! Best ever gravy! But a LOT of work.-23 Nov 2010

by Randi

A little work intensive, but worth it in the long run. I had to make a few revisions. I used a 1/2 a turkey breast as my local market didn't have wings OR legs, which made for less fat at the end. I used a whole stick of butter to substitue and spelt flour for wheat allergic family members. I think that gave it a nice, earthy flavor. I also kept the onions from the roasting in the gravy for continued flavor. I also used lots of fresh thyme as it grows in my kitchen. I will keep and use this recipe again. Very nice!-23 Nov 2010

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is a must for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner!

Turkey gravy is definitely a big thing at our Thanksgiving dinner, and not something to rush. It's the perfect side dish to make ahead, to ensure it comes out perfect and one less thing you need to do before feasting! Now you can grab a cocktail while the turkey is resting and the other side dishes are warming in the oven. You're welcome!

I'm kind of picky with my gravy, I like it to have a rich dark brown color. You get that from roasting the turkey wings in a pot. All those brown bits on the bottom and the golden brown crispy skin on the wings.

I wanted to pack just as much flavor into this make-ahead gravy as you'd get if you were making it after roasting your Thanksgiving turkey, so I started by roasting some turkey wings with onions, carrots, and celery in the oven. This gives the stock you'll make next, and the resulting gravy, a deep, roasted flavor.

After roasting, transfer the wings and vegetables to a stock pot, deglaze the roasting pan with chicken broth, and simmer with more broth to make an ultra-rich stock for your gravy.

While it definitely takes some time to roast the vegetables and make this stock, you'll be rewarded with the most flavorful gravy you've ever made. Also, this whole process is more hands-off time than actual work -- in other words, you can catch up on binge watching your favorite show while the stock is simmering.

After cooking down the stock, you can either leave it to chill overnight so the fat solidifies, or skim off the fat immediately and proceed to make the gravy.

Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions & Sage

Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, combine 3 tablespoons of salt, the minced thyme, and lemon zest. Wash the turkey inside and out, drain it well, and pat it all over with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest on the skin, including under the wings and legs. Place the turkey in a shallow dish just large enough to hold it and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one or two days. The day before you plan to roast the turkey, remove the plastic wrap and leave the turkey in the fridge. The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan, discarding any juices in the dish. Place the onion, lemon, and thyme sprigs in the cavity. With kitchen string, tie the legs together and the wings close to the body. Brush the turkey with the butter and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the turkey for 2 to 2¼ hours, until the breast meat registers 165 degrees (put the thermometer in sideways) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and place the turkey on a platter. Cut off the legs and thighs and put them back into the roasting pan, covering the breast and carcass tightly with aluminum foil. Place the roasting pan back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dark meat registers 180 degrees. Remove the dark meat to the platter with the turkey, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Pour a ¼-inch layer of the gravy into a large (12 × 16-inch), ovenproof serving platter (make sure it’s ovenproof!). Carve the turkey and arrange it artfully on top of the gravy. Place the platter uncovered into the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, until the turkey is very hot. Serve hot with extra gravy on the side.


  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 10 large fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1½ minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them. Refrigerate until ready to use.

After the turkey is cooked, remove it to a carving board to rest while you finish the gravy. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up all the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk the gravy base into the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

This handy turkey gravy recipe can be prepared 2 days ahead, so it’s ready to heat with turkey drippings or additional broth just 10 minutes before dinner is served.

Step your dinner & Thanksgiving game up with the make-ahead turkey gravy recipe! Learn how to make this special turkey broth based gravy from College Inn®!

Serves 8

Prep time 5 min.

Cook time 20 min.


1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery and thyme until onion is very soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes . Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 4 to 5 minutes or just until light golden brown.

Gradually whisk in 2 cups broth. Cook, stirring frequently with a whisk, about 3 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Let cool. Refrigerate gravy base and remaining 2 cups broth up to 2 days before serving.

Gradually stir in 2 cups broth. Cook, stirring frequently with a whisk, until thickened and smooth, about 3 minutes cool. Refrigerate gravy base and remaining 2 cups broth up to 2 days before serving.

Transfer roasted turkey to a platter to rest. Skim fat from pan drippings. Add pan drippings to refrigerated gravy base in a medium saucepan heat over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk. Add reserved broth 1/4 cup at a time until desired desired consistency is reached . Simmer until heated through and season to taste with pepper.

VARIATION: To make Mushroom-Wine Turkey Gravy, prepare recipe as directed, except add 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms and 2 Tbsp. dry red or white wine when cooking onion and celery and substitute sage for thyme, if desired.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Have ready a large roasting pan.

Arrange wings in a single layer pan scatter onions over top. Roast 1 1/4 hours until the wings are browned.

Put wings and onions in a 5 to 6 quart pot. Add water to roasting pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom. Add to pot. Add 3/4 broth (refrigerate remaining broth), carrots and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours.

Remove wings to cutting board. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin save meat for another use.

Strain broth into a 3-quart saucepan, pressing vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables skim fat off broth and discard. (If time permits, refrigerate broth overnight to make fat-skimming easier.)

Whisk flour into remaining broth until blended and smooth.

Bring broth in pot to a gentle boil. Whisk in broth-flour mixture and boil 3 to 4 minutes to thicken gravy and remove floury taste. Stir in butter and pepper. Serve or pour into containers refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

Planning Tip: If frozen, thaw 2 days in refrigerator. Reheat in saucepan, whisking often.

NOTE: On Thanksgiving after the turkey is cooked and removed from the roasting pan, you can skim the fat off the pan drippings and add the drippings to the heated gravy.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

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Most of us wait until right before Thanksgiving dinner is served—when the kitchen is a swirling vortex of kids, dogs, and your brother-in-law looking for the wine opener—to make gravy, using drippings from the roasting pan. If you don’t have drippings (maybe you cooked our BBQ Turkey) or just like to tick off your to-do boxes well in advance, this easy make-ahead recipe yields gravy with plenty of rich turkey flavor. Start by making a simple turkey stock from turkey legs, vegetables, and herbs. Sauté some shallots for depth, add some white wine (use a little extra stock if you prefer to skip the wine), and sprinkle in a little flour. Add your rich turkey stock, and let it simmer until the flour works its thickening magic.

This gravy transforms our Orange, Honey, and Thyme Brined Turkey Breast into the ultimate celebration dish, and elevates Turkey Meatloaf.

Make-ahead notes: The gravy can be refrigerated in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the gravy in a medium saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until hot, about 10 minutes. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator for a day, then reheat.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 turkey necks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Brown turkey necks in hot oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Add onion and celery sauté 5 minutes. Stir in broth, parsley, and thyme. Bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer discard solids.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is golden. Gradually whisk in stock (or pan drippings), wine, and sage bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Course: Sides
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 yellow onions , cut into wedges
  • 2 carrots , cut into 2" chunks
  • 2 ribs celery , cut into 2" chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 turkey wings
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Roast in a baking dish or baking sheet for 1 hour.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours .

Cook for 6-8 minutes until gravy is smooth and thickened.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 211 calories, Calories: 211g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 630mg, Potassium: 200mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2723g, Vitamin C: 3g, Calcium: 26g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

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Step 1

Using a large roasting pan*, place the turkey wings in the pan. Add the celery, onion and garlic. Note: You don’t have to bother peeling the onion, nor garlic.

Roast at 375°F for about 2 hours. *you can use a Dutch oven, if you prefer

To the roasted turkey wings, and add 8 cups of water. Add the bay leaves. To add the peppercorns, if you have a mesh tea ball, that’s perfect. Otherwise, place them in a small piece of cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine for easy removal. Set the roasting rack directly on the stove. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour.

Carefully remove the turkey wings and vegetables. (My husband removes the meat for our pets.) Carefully pour the stock through a mesh strainer into a heat-proof large measuring bowl. You should have about 8 cups of turkey stock. Ideally, refrigerate it overnight—or for at least a few hours.

Defat the stock, by skimming it with a large spoon.

Be sure to have the flour, milk, cider vinegar (or white wine), salt and pepper ready to go. You want to use a whisk.

I prefer a non-stick deep skillet or large pot. Melt the unsalted on medium-high heat until melted and bubbly.

While whisking, add the flour evenly and whisk briskly. The flour should incorporate into the butter, and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, too cook out the flour taste.

Slowly add up to 2 cups of turkey stock (reserve at least 1/2 cup of stock in case you turn your gravy into concrete), in half-cup increments, whisking all the while. The liquid should be quite thick. Add the whole milk, then the apple cider vinegar, or white wine, (this really brightens the flavor of the gravy).

Season with kosher salt, in 1/4 teaspoon increments. Taste each time, until seasoned to your liking. Too much salt is disastrous, so just go slow and easy. I prefer to add fresh cracked black pepper, but this is optional.

Once you roast your holiday turkey, you can add more defatted turkey drippings to give the gravy an even darker color, and for more flavor.

You can freeze the gravy, or keep it refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Just reheat when you are ready to serve.

Watch the video: Make Ahead Turkey Gravy. Turkey Gravy Recipe. Turkey Stock