How to Make Gravy From Turkey Drippings | Turkey Tech Tips
How to Make Turkey Gravy
When you're serving a turkey dinner, nothing compliments it quite as well as fresh, homemade gravy. Making turkey gravy can be intimidating if you've never done it before, but once you master creating the roux that thickens it up, you'll be on your way. Best of all, you can make the gravy in a few different ways, so you end up with a smooth gravy made from the turkey drippings, a meaty gravy made with the giblets, or a stock-based gravy that you can make even if you haven't roasted a turkey.
Turkey Gravy from Pan Drippings
¼ cup (60 ml) turkey pan drippings
¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (470 ml) chicken or turkey broth
A few drops of browning sauce
½ teaspoon (2.84 g) salt
½ teaspoon (2.5 g) pepper
Turkey Gravy from Giblets
Turkey giblets and neck, saved from uncooked turkey
½ cup (120 ml) turkey pan drippings
½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour (and more if needed)
4 cups (946 ml) no-sodium chicken or turkey broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Turkey Gravy from Stock
⅓ cup (75 g) butter
⅓ cup (41 g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (710 ml) turkey or chicken broth
¼ teaspoon (2.5 g) ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Making Turkey Gravy from Pan Drippings
Pour the pan drippings to a saucepan and heat.After the turkey has finished roasting, measure out ¼ cup (60 ml) of the pan drippings and place it in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat until medium-high and allow the pan to warm.
- It’s very important to measure the drippings carefully. If you don’t add enough, the gravy will wind up lumpy.
Mix in the flour and cook the mixture for several minutes.Add ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour to the drippings. Use a wire whisk to incorporate the flour, stirring constantly. Move the whisk quickly to ensure that the flour and drippings are fully blended and there are no lumps. Allow the gravy to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly.
- Make sure to stir the gravy constantly while it’s cooking to prevent lumps.
- While the gravy shouldn’t have lumps, it will be very thick and gloppy at this stage. It will take on a thinner consistency when you add liquid to it.
Add in the broth and bring to a boil.Stir 2 cups (470 ml) of chicken or turkey broth into the drippings and flour mixture. Adjust the heat to high, and allow the gravy to come to a boil, making sure to stir constantly.
- In addition to chicken or turkey broth, you can use turkey juice or water as the liquid to thin out the gravy. In fact, you can use any combination of the liquids that add up to 2 cups (470 ml).
Cook the gravy for 1 minute.Once the gravy comes to a boil, allow it to cook through for 1 minute. Be sure to stir the pan with the whisk the entire time, though, so lumps don’t form.
- The gravy should thicken up as it cooks, so if you aren’t happy with the consistency, allow it to cook a little longer.
Stir in the browning sauce, salt, and pepper.When the gravy has thickened properly, add a few drops of browning sauce, ½ teaspoon (2.84 g) of salt, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) of pepper, and stir until well blended. Taste the gravy, and see if you want to add any more of the sauce, salt, or pepper.
Pour into a gravy boat and serve.Once you’re happy with the flavor of the gravy, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a gravy boat or other serving bowl. Serve it alongside the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
- The gravy will last up to a week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. Make sure to reheat over low heat and whisk it periodically while it heats to prevent it from separating.
Whipping Up Turkey Gravy from Giblets
Place the giblets and turkey neck in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil.Take the giblets and neck from the turkey before it’s been cooked, and set them in a small saucepan. Add enough water to the pan to cover the giblets and neck by at least 2 inches (5 cm). Turn the heat to medium, and bring the pan to a gentle boil.
- If desired, you add seasonings to the pan. For example, you might stir in a sliced onion, chopped celery, salt, and/or pepper before you bring the water to a boil.
Allow the pan to simmer for 1 hour.After the pan has boiled, reduce the heat to low, and let the contents simmer on the stove for an hour. That will cook the giblet and neck meat and form a giblet broth for possible use later.
- It’s best to cover the pan while the contents are simmering. Use the lid if you have one, or place a piece of foil over the top.
Remove the giblets and turkey neck from the pan and set the parts and broth aside.Once the pan has simmered for an hour, remove it from the stove. Take the giblets and turkey neck out, and set aside. You can leave the broth in the pan, but set it aside possible later use as well.
- If you’ve added any seasonings to the broth, such as onions or celery, discard them when you separate the meat and broth.
Add the turkey drippings to a skillet and mix with flour.In a medium skillet, heat ½ cup (120 ml) turkey pan drippings on medium. Slowly sprinkle ½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour into the pan as well, whisking quickly to fully incorporate it into the drippings. You want to form a thick paste, so if it looks too thin or greasy, add a little more flour.
- If you don’t have enough pan drippings to measure ½ cup (120 ml), you can supplement what you have with the giblet broth.
Cook the drippings and flour mixture for several minutes.Once you’ve gotten the drippings and flour mixture to the right consistency, allow it to cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until it takes on a golden brown color. Make sure to whisk it the entire time, moving slowly to prevent lumps.
Stir in the broth and allow the gravy to cook down.When the drippings and flour mixture has cooked to a golden brown shade, slowly pour in 4 cups (946 ml) of no-sodium chicken or turkey broth. Whisk the contents of the pan the entire time that you add the broth to keep the gravy smooth. Let the gravy cook for 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat so it thickens.
- When you’re cooking down the gravy so it thickens, keep whisking it. You don’t want to allow any lumps to form.
Chop up the giblets and neck meat and add to the gravy.While the gravy is thickening, chop up the cooked giblets with a sharp knife. Use your fingers to remove the meat from the neck as well. Chop all of the meat into fine pieces and then stir it into the gravy.
- You can chop the meat into whatever size pieces you’re comfortable with, but you don’t want them too large or they’ll make the gravy overly lumpy.
- Add as much or as little of the meat to the gravy as you like. If you want it to have a chunky texture, mix in more of the meat. If you prefer a smoother texture, add less.
Check the gravy and season with salt and pepper.After you’ve mixed in the giblet and neck meat, examine the gravy’s consistency. If it seems too thick, add in a little more chicken, turkey, or giblet broth to make it smoother. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper to taste as well.
- Be sure to taste the gravy before adding any salt. You don’t want it to be overly salty.
Serve the gravy hot.When you’re happy with the flavor, remove the gravy from the stove and transfer it to a gravy boat or other serving bowl. Serve it with your meal while it’s still piping hot.
Cooking Up Turkey Gravy from Stock
Melt the butter in a saucepan.Place ⅓ cup (75 g) butter in a medium-size saucepan, and turn the heat to medium. Allow the butter to heat for approximately 5 minutes or until it melts completely. Make sure to stir it regularly as it heats so it doesn’t burn.
- The butter will melt more quickly if you cut it into pieces.
Mix the flour into the pan and cook for a few minutes.Once the butter has melted, add ⅓ cup (41 g) of all-purpose flour to the pan. Use a whisk to stir the flour into the butter and continue mixing until the mixture is smooth. Allow it to cook for approximately 3 minutes on medium-low heat to remove the raw flour taste.
- Make sure to lower the burner’s heat while the butter and flour mixture is cooking. It can burn very easily.
Add the broth and black pepper and let it cook down.After the butter and flour mixture has cooked for a few minutes, stir in 3 cups (710 ml) of turkey or chicken broth and ¼ teaspoon (2.5 g) of ground black pepper. Turn the heat back up to medium, and allow the gravy to cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until it’s bubbly and thick.
Cook and stir for 1 minute.Once the gravy has thickened up, let it cook for another minute on medium heat. However, be sure to stir it with a whisk the entire time to ensure that it stays smooth and lump-free.
- At the end of the minute of cooking, it’s a good idea to give the gravy a taste and season with a little salt if necessary.
Transfer to a gravy boat.When the gravy is finished, remove the pan from the stove. Pour the gravy into a gravy boat or other serving dish. If desired, you can garnish it with chopped fresh parsley. Serve it while it’s still hot.
To make turkey gravy from stock, melt 1/3 cup of butter in a pan for 5 minutes. Then, mix 1/3 cup of flour into the pan and cook for a few minutes. Add 3 cups of turkey broth and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper before cooking the mixture for 3-5 minutes. When the gravy thickens, stir it with a whisk and let it cook for another minute. To finish, taste the gravy, add some salt if necessary, transfer to a gravy boat, and serve!
- When you’re making the pan dripping gravy or the giblet gravy, you can mix up the gravy in the roasting pan from the turkey as long as it has a heavy bottom that you can place on the stove top. That will mean less dishes to wash at the end of the meal.
- If your turkey gravy is too thick, you can also thin it out by adding a little more stock. Just be sure to add a little a time so you don’t make the gravy too thin.
- If your turkey gravy is too thin, allow it to cook down longer at medium-low or low heat. The longer that it cooks, the thicker it will become.
Video: How to Make Gravy for Roast Turkey
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