Crafting homemade turkey gravy using the flavorful drippings from the roasting pan is not only straightforward but also far superior to store-bought alternatives. You can prepare a delicious batch in just 15 minutes with this simple recipe.
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Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes to make your meal easy and delicious? I always encourage my readers to know how to thaw a frozen turkey, then you will want to make a choice between my turkey brine or turkey rub to bring the flavors.
Then you will need to decide how to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey. I can show you how to oven roast a turkey, make a smoked turkey, a spatchcocked turkey, or a sous vide turkey breast or turkey roulade for those who just want white meat.
- 🏆 Why this is the best turkey gravy recipe
- 🍗 Ingredients needed:
- 📝 Ingredient notes:
- What are turkey drippings?
- How can I make my gravy taste better?
- 🔪 How to make turkey gravy from drippings
- Can homemade turkey gravy be made ahead?
- ♨️ Reheating Instructions
- 📝 Frequently asked questions, answers and tips:
- Thanksgiving Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
🏆 Why this is the best turkey gravy recipe
This turkey gravy recipe excels in flavor, texture, and adaptability, making it a top choice for enhancing your Thanksgiving feast.
- This recipe utilizes turkey drippings, which are the golden essence of a roasted turkey. These drippings infuse the gravy with an authentic and rich turkey flavor that's hard to replicate with artificial additives. It's the genuine taste of Thanksgiving.
- By incorporating a roux made with all-purpose flour, this recipe achieves a smooth and creamy texture for the best gravy. The roux method ensures that the gravy is velvety and lump-free, providing a delightful consistency that complements your turkey beautifully.
- Making gravy from turkey drippings encourages you to taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. This level of customization allows you to fine-tune the gravy to your specific taste preferences. Whether you like it a bit saltier or with a touch more pepper, you have the flexibility to make it perfect for your table.
🍗 Ingredients needed:
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
📝 Ingredient notes:
The turkey stock or broth forms the liquid base, the turkey drippings bring the turkey's unique flavor, the flour thickens the gravy, and the salt and pepper season it to perfection. Combining these ingredients results in a tasty and well-balanced turkey gravy.
- Turkey Stock: serves as the base for your gravy. It provides a flavorful liquid that, when combined with the other ingredients, forms the sauce. The stock is made from simmering turkey bones, vegetables, and seasonings, extracting their flavors to create a rich and savory foundation for your gravy.
- Turkey Drippings: essential for bringing that delicious, roasted turkey flavor to your gravy. They are the juices that accumulate during the turkey's roasting process. These drippings contribute a depth of flavor that's uniquely associated with the Thanksgiving bird.
- All-Purpose Flour: used to thicken the gravy and give it a smooth, velvety texture. In this recipe, it's used to make a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat (in this case, the turkey drippings). The roux thickens the liquid and helps to create a consistent, gravy-like consistency.
- Salt & Pepper, to taste: These seasonings are crucial for enhancing the overall flavor of the gravy. Salt adds savory depth, while pepper provides a subtle kick of heat. Seasoning to taste ensures that the gravy is perfectly seasoned according to your preferences.
See the suggestions below on how to add additional flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey gravy.
What are turkey drippings?
As the turkey cooks, it releases flavorful juices from the meat. These juices mix with the natural fats from the turkey and any seasonings you've used. All of this delicious liquid that accumulates in the bottom of the roasting pan is what we call "turkey drippings" or "pan drippings".
You can usually find them in the bottom of the roasting pan after you've cooked your turkey, and they are the secret ingredient that makes the best gravy taste like Thanksgiving! These drippings are a key ingredient to make the gravy and bring a deep, roasted turkey flavor to your dishes.
How can I make my gravy taste better?
Remember that tasting and adjusting as you go is crucial to achieving the perfect flavor. Tailor your gravy to your personal taste preferences, and you'll have an easy and delicious sauce to accompany your turkey.
To make your turkey gravy from drippings taste even better, you can follow these tips:
- Quality Drippings: Start with high-quality turkey drippings. The better and more flavorful of your drippings, the better your gravy will taste. Make sure to skim off any excess fat for a richer flavor.
- Seasoning: Season your gravy well with salt and pepper. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can also add a pinch of herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage for extra flavor.
- Use Stock: If you find your drippings a bit lacking in flavor, you can add some turkey or chicken stock to enhance the taste. Homemade stock is ideal, but store-bought will work too.
- Aromatics: Saute finely chopped onions, garlic, or shallots in the pan before adding the drippings. This adds depth and aroma to your gravy.
- Deglaze: When making your roux, you can deglaze the pan with a little white wine or brandy for an extra layer of flavor.
- Reduction: Simmer your gravy for a longer time to reduce it and intensify the flavor. Be patient; this can take some time, but it's worth it.
- Umami Boosters: Add umami-rich ingredients like a dash of soy sauce or a small amount of tomato paste. These can elevate the overall taste of your gravy.
- Strain: Strain your gravy to remove any lumps or unwanted bits, resulting in a smoother and more flavorful sauce.
- Balance Sweetness and Acidity: If your gravy is too salty, you can balance it with a touch of sweetness, like a little maple syrup or a squeeze of lemon juice if it's too bland.
- Butter Finish: For a luxurious touch, whisk in a small piece of cold butter at the end. It adds a silky texture and a lovely sheen to your gravy.
🔪 How to make turkey gravy from drippings
Discover the ultimate way to create the most delicious and velvety turkey gravy for your Thanksgiving feast. It's rich, smooth, and incredibly easy, utilizing those flavorful pan drippings and seasonings from your turkey, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
- Start by gently warming the turkey drippings in a medium-sized saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Be patient, as the goal is to warm them, not bring them to a boil.
- Once the drippings are warmed, introduce the flour and blend until you achieve a thick, paste-like consistency.
- Gradually pour in the turkey stock while maintaining a constant stir with a whisk. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few more minutes until it thickens. Keep that stirring going without interruption!
- When you're satisfied with the texture, remove the saucepan from the heat. Take a moment to taste your creation and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper to your liking. Now, it's time to savor your delicious gravy!
Can homemade turkey gravy be made ahead?
You can make the best turkey gravy ahead of time and ensure it's warm and ready to delight your guests when it's time to serve your turkey.
Prepare the gravy a day or two before your event. After cooking, allow it to cool to room temperature. Once the homemade gravy has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure it's tightly sealed to prevent any off-flavors from being absorbed.
♨️ Reheating Instructions
Reheat the gravy gently on the stove over low to medium-low heat. Stir it frequently to ensure it heats evenly and doesn't scorch. If it's too thick, you can add a little extra splash of stock or water to reach your desired consistency.
To keep the gravy warm for service, consider using a double boiler. This setup prevents the direct contact of the gravy with high heat, which can cause it to burn. Keep the water in the lower pot simmering, and place your gravy pot in the upper pot. Stir occasionally to maintain a consistent temperature.
If you have a thermal container or a thermos, it can be an excellent way to keep the gravy hot without the need for a stove. Preheat the container with hot water, empty it, and then pour the hot gravy inside. Seal it tightly until you're ready to serve.
📝 Frequently asked questions, answers and tips:
Both flour and cornstarch can be used to thicken turkey gravy from drippings, and the choice largely depends on your preference and dietary restrictions.
Flour: Using all-purpose flour is a traditional way to thicken gravy. It provides a hearty and slightly nutty flavor. To use flour, make a roux by mixing equal parts of flour and fat (usually butter or the turkey drippings) and then gradually adding it to the simmering drippings while stirring continuously. This method gives a more classic taste to your gravy.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a gluten-free alternative and results in a smoother, glossy texture in your gravy. To use cornstarch, mix it with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry, then whisk it into the simmering drippings. Once the gravy returns to boil it thickens quickly and can make your gravy appear clear and glossy.
If you find it challenging to remove any lumps of flour, you can gently press the back of a spoon against them and incorporate them into the mixture. To achieve the finest gravy, it's crucial to ensure that the flour is fully dissolved into the drippings before introducing the stock.
As a last resort, pass the lumpy gravy through a fine mesh strainer to remove the lumps.
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Turkey Gravy From The Drippings
There is more to a recipe than just the recipe card. Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!
- 4 Cups Turkey Stock
- ¼ Cup Turkey Drippings
- ¼ Cup all purpose flour
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Over medium low heat on a stove, heat the turkey drippings in a medium saucepan. This shouldn’t take long as they just need to be heated, not boiling.¼ Cup Turkey Drippings
- Once the drippings have warmed up, add the flour and mix until there’s no more flour. This will make a thick paste-like mixture.¼ Cup all purpose flour
- Pour the stock into the mixture, stirring constantly. Let the mixture heat for a couple more minutes or until it starts to thicken. Never stop stirring!4 Cups Turkey Stock
- Remove from the heat. Carefully taste and adjust with salt or pepper, if need be. Enjoy!Salt & Pepper
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.