Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is a must for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner! Roasting turkey wings, vegetables, and garlic you'll have a flavorful gravy everyone will devour.
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Homemade turkey gravy is definitely a big thing at our Thanksgiving dinner and not something to rush. Between the Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Green Bean Casserole, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Turkey there is a lot to do.
Make this turkey gravy recipe ahead of time so it's one less thing to do before feasting! Now you can grab a cocktail while the turkey rests and the other side dishes are warming in the oven.
Why this recipe works
Making Turkey gravy can be a little time-consuming and stressful on Thanksgiving day. This easy make ahead turkey gravy recipe can be made a day or two ahead of time or even weeks if you freeze it takes the pressure off of having to make it last minute.
Ingredients for Make Ahead Gravy
- Turkey wing: You can also use turkey legs or turkey necks.
- Vegetables: Carrots, celery, and onion help deepen the gravy flavor.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are recommended.
- Butter: You can use either salted or unsalted butter.
- Flour: All-purpose flour helps to thicken the gravy.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Optional but highly recommended ads just a pinch of acidity to the gravy.
- Kitchen Bouquet: Gives a little more color to the gravy, but totally optional.
How to make this make-ahead turkey gravy
- Step 1: In a large dutch oven or big pot place turkey wings, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and bake uncovered until a deep golden brown.
- Step 2: Remove from oven and place on the stovetop. Heat on medium-high and add water to release and turkey drippings and brown bits. Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer.
- Step 3: Strain stock into a large bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight, you should have 4 cups of stock.
- Step 4: Heat a large skillet on medium heat and melt butter, whisk in flour until it forms a paste, and cook for about 30 seconds to remove the raw flour taste.
- Step 5: Add in turkey stock. Bring to a boil reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until thickened.
- Step 6: Turn off the heat, the sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve in a gravy boat.
How to Reheat Turkey Gravy
Place the turkey gravy in a saucepan and heat on low stirring occasionally until hot and bubbly.
- Slowly add the strained pan drippings to the roux or slurry while constantly whisking to avoid lumps.
- Taste your gravy and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
- Place your pot or dutch oven in the center of your oven, to prevent any burning in the bottom of your pot.
- If you don't have 4 cups of turkey broth after simmering your turkey add some chicken stock or water to make up the difference.
No, you can also use the back/neck of the turkey or even drumsticks. If you use drumsticks, you can shred the meat off and use it in soups or even finely chop it up and add it to the gravy.
Absolutely! Place the cooled gravy in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Or freeze the turkey broth and you can whip up this homemade gravy anytime.
Yes, I always find it better to have too much gravy than not enough. Just make sure you have a big enough pot for the water. Or you can simply use two pots.
If your gravy comes out too thin make a cornstarch slurry using 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk it into the gravy and simmer until thickened.
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
- 2 turkey wings
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 6 cups water
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Kitchen Bouquet optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place turkey, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in a large pot or Dutch Oven and place on the middle rack. Bake uncovered for 2 hours. Remove from oven.
- Add water and simmer on stovetop uncovered for 45 minutes. You should have about 4 cups of stock. If not add more water or chicken stock.
- Strain the stock into a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or even overnight. Using a spoon remove the fat accumulated on top.
- Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add butter and let melt. Whisk in flour and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in turkey stock and vinegar.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat, sauce will thicken more once it starts to cool down.
- Whisk in Kitchen Bouquet if using. Start off with just 1/8 of a teaspoon and add more if preferred.