Turkey Gravy

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Who doesn’t love a rich, flavorful turkey gravy drizzled over their mashed potatoes? But making it right as the turkey comes out of the oven can be a hassle. Here’s where the genius of the make-ahead turkey gravy comes into play.

The Magic of Make-Ahead Recipes

The Convenience Factor

Ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of dishes to prepare during the holidays? Make-ahead recipes are your saviors. They not only free up your oven and stovetop but also give you a breather.

The Taste Advantage

Did you know? Some dishes, like gravy, can actually taste better when the flavors meld overnight. Think of it as giving your gravy a head-start in the flavor marathon.

Why Turkey Gravy is Essential for Your Holiday Spread

A creamy, velvety turkey gravy isn’t just a sauce; it’s an emotion. It binds the different elements on your plate, elevating the taste of everything it touches. Can you even imagine a holiday plate without it?

Ingredients You’ll Need

For this mouth-watering gravy, gather:

  • 6 large turkey wings
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preparation is Key: Ensure all your ingredients are on hand.
  2. Browning Perfection: Set your oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and lay the turkey wings in a large roasting pan. Spread the onions over them and roast till the wings acquire a deep golden hue, which would be around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. The Broth Beginnings: Transfer your beautifully roasted wings and onions into a 5-quart stockpot. Take the water and add it to the roasting pan. This is where you capture all the deliciousness left behind. Mix, scrape, and pour it into the stockpot.
  4. Flavor Infusion: Add 6 cups of chicken broth, carrots, and the aromatic dried thyme. Let it boil, and then, with patience, let it simmer for about 1.5 hours.
  5. Straining the Goodness: Once done, separate the wings and strain the contents, pressing to extract maximum flavor.
  6. The Final Touch: With your turkey broth ready, skim off the fat. Bring it to a gentle boil. As it does, mix flour with the remaining chicken broth till smooth. Slowly whisk this into your simmering broth. Once thickened, swirl in butter and sprinkle the black pepper. Voila! Your gravy is ready.

Tips for Making the Perfect Gravy

Importance of Quality Broth

The essence of your gravy lies in the broth. Always opt for homemade or premium quality store-bought broth.

The Right Consistency

Nobody likes a runny gravy. Ensuring the right flour to broth ratio is crucial. If in doubt, always start with less flour; you can add more later.

The Flavor Enhancing Ingredients

Onions, carrots, thyme – these are not just fillers. They infuse the gravy with depth and character.

Storing and Reheating Your Gravy

Store your gravy in the refrigerator if using within a few days. If storing for longer, consider freezing. When reheating, a slow simmer is your best friend.

Variations to the Classic Recipe

Experiment with herbs like rosemary or sage. Or, if feeling adventurous, why not add a splash of white wine?


1. Can I use a different meat for the gravy?
Yes, while turkey wings are ideal, you can use chicken wings or even beef bones.

2. What if I don’t have dried thyme?
Fresh thyme or rosemary can be a good substitute.

3. How long can I store this gravy in the fridge?
Up to 3-4 days. For longer, freeze it.

4. Can I use cornstarch instead of flour?
Yes, but remember to mix it with cold water before adding to avoid lumps.

5. Why is my gravy too thick?
If your gravy turns out too thick, simply whisk in some additional broth until you reach the desired consistency.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Cream
Cuisine American


  • 6 large turkey wings
  • 2 medium onions peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups chicken broth divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F .
  • Arrange turkey wings in a single layer in a large roasting pan; scatter onions over top.
  • Roast in the preheated oven until wings are browned, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Transfer wings and onions to a 5-quart stockpot.
  • Add water to the roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour water and pan scrapings into the stockpot.
  • Stir in 6 cups chicken broth, carrots, and thyme. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer wings to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pull off skin and meat. Discard skin and reserve meat for another use.
  • Pour contents of the stockpot through a large strainer into a 3-quart saucepan. Press on vegetables in the strainer to extract any remaining liquid; discard vegetables.
  • Skim and discard fat from the turkey broth, then bring to a gentle boil.
  • Whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth in a bowl until smooth.
  • Gradually whisk flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until gravy has thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butter and pepper.
  • Serve immediately or pour into containers, cool, and refrigerate or freeze.
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