Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

This recipe is life-saver!

Ok, it won't save your life - literally, but it will save you from doing that last minute gravy thing while all your guests are breathing down your neck wondering if dinner is ready yet.  Can we eat now?  Should we sit down?  Is it ready yet?  Can we eat now?  How about now? 

This gravy can be made 4-days ahead, the turkey stock used to make the gravy can be made months ahead and frozen.  On the big day, you can warm it up in a slow cooker so you don't need an extra burner on the stove for gravy.  I don't have a square inch of counter space to spare on T-day, so I keep my slow-cooker of gravy plugged in on the counter in my…shh...laundry room.  

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy:  First Make the Stock

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud

Adapted from Cuisine at Home (Dec. '07)


For the Stock:

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 pounds turkey wings and necks

6 stalks celery, cut into large pieces

1 large sweet onion, cut into quarters, I don't peel (adds nice color to stock)

1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half

3 (4-inch) sprigs rosemary

4 (4-inch) springs thyme

12 cups low-sodium chicken broth

For the Gravy:

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

turkey stock (from recipe) approx. 8 cups

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Turkey pan drippings (Optional - See Note)

Salt & pepper


For the Stock:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add oil to large roasting pan over medium-high heat on stovetop (I place mine over two burners.)  Add wings, necks, celery, onion and garlic.  Saute, turning a few times, until starting to brown.  Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, removing pan and turning the wings and necks half-way through.  

Add herbs and chicken broth to roasting pan along with the wings, necks and vegetables.  Cook for another 45 minutes - 1 hour or until reduced to about 8 cups.  Remove solids and strain the stock through a cheesecloth lined strainer or fine mesh strainer.

Note: If you don't want to make the gravy right at this point, you can cool the stock and refrigerate for up to 4 days or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

For the Gravy:

Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually add stock, whisking until smooth.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  Sometimes when my first turkey is done cooking, I'll add a cup of water to the roasting pan and put it on the stove to simmer and to scrape up any pan drippings.  Then I reduce it down and strain it.  I add this to my completed turkey gravy.

The gravy can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and refrigerated.

Shopping Note: I find my necks and wings at the poultry counter at the local farmer's market.  They are sometimes available in the meat case of the grocery at this time of year.  Ask at the meat counter if you can't find them.

Printable Recipe Link:  Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Thanksgiving - epicuricloud

Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me.  Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Tina ( :