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rubys Oct 28, 2009 05:04 PM

my mom is a great cook, but she never made real gravy for thanksgiving, she served the "juices." how do you make a real, simple and delectable gravy to go with turkey?

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  1. firecooked RE: rubys Oct 28, 2009 05:14 PM

    Once at my brothers, he told mom he was using her gravy recipe, and she said she didn't have one, where did he get it? LOL. Anyway, her is the recipe. If you use a dark broth (i.e. start by browning the bones) the color is good, and avoid using Kitchen Bouquet (like Mom did).

    Turkey Gravy:

    1 quart turkey broth (add potato water or chicken broth if short on turkey broth)
    Drippings from the turkey, with fat separated off
    1 tablespoon flour AND 1 tablespoon cornstarch per cup of liquid.

    Use the broth to deglaze the turkey pan if there are any good bits left. I usually use a separate pan to make the gravy, but you can use the turkey roaster.

    Start heating the broth and drippings. Mix flour/cornstarch with small amount of cold water, then mix into warm broth. Cook over medium heat until thick.

    12 Replies
    1. re: firecooked
      rubys RE: firecooked Oct 28, 2009 05:18 PM

      thanks but how do you make the turkey broth, with the gizzards etc or with wings or what?

      1. re: rubys
        Gio RE: rubys Oct 28, 2009 05:41 PM

        Usually when you open the turkey wrapping there are various turkey parts such as the neck, and other pieces... gizzards, etc. So:
        Into a pan go a chopped onion, celery, and carrot, all the various parts, water to cover, salt & pepper, a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, turn down heat and simmer for about an hour. This becomes the stock with which you will make your gravy.

        Note: Some people leave out the liver.

        1. re: Gio
          Val RE: Gio Oct 28, 2009 06:00 PM

          Yes, this is how I make mine...roast the turkey and while that's roasting, cook the neck and other parts from the plastic bag....strain and set aside. After the turkey is done, pour all of the drippings into a large measuring cup...spoon off the fat but reserve a little for the roux...make the roux in the roasting pan and then add your broth made from the neck and other parts (I DO add the liver, very finely chopped, along with heart and neck meat)...you don't HAVE to add the liver...experiment!!!

        2. re: rubys
          fourunder RE: rubys Oct 28, 2009 05:44 PM

          You can make the turkey stock and gravy ahead of roasting the turkey. Assuming you are roasting the turkey whole, I would suggest you purchase some additional wings and or legs to prepare your stock. You should also use the neck that comes with the turkey along with the gizzards, but skip the liver. It's best if you cut up the neck into smaller pieces. You can roast the turkey parts or caramelize them in the stockpot. You will also need to add aromatics to the stockpot as well. You need not chop the vegetable finely, coarsely will do. Instead of a slurry, you can also make a roux to thicken the stock for gravy. You can use butter or pan drippings. Some people also like to use Wondra Brand Flour instead of All Purpose Flour......no lumps.

          Personally, I would suggest you make more than a quart of gravy. I usually make at least a gallon. Any unused gravy is used for leftovers and reheating of the turkey instead of using the microwave......or it's frozen for another day.

          1. re: fourunder
            greygarious RE: fourunder Oct 28, 2009 08:48 PM

            By all means use Wondra for a slurry (using cider, water, milk, cool broth, or a combinatino) if you are new to gravy-making. Whisk that slurry into your defatted pan drippings and add broth, simmering to desired thickness. Making stock for gravy with the giblets and neck is great but if you are not up to that, just add a few carrots, celery, and chopped onion to the roasting pan while the bird cooks, to boost the flavor in the drippings. Then use storebought chicken broth, base, or turkey base for the broth you will add to the gravy.

          2. re: rubys
            Davwud RE: rubys Oct 29, 2009 08:56 AM


            After the meal, pick off what turkey you can from the carcass and either make some stock right away or put it in a zip top bag. Either way, freeze and use for next time.


            1. re: Davwud
              Full tummy RE: Davwud Oct 29, 2009 12:37 PM

              I made a wonderful turkey noodle soup with my turkey carcass.

              1. re: Full tummy
                Davwud RE: Full tummy Oct 29, 2009 12:47 PM

                I like to make turkey and dumplin's.


                1. re: Davwud
                  Full tummy RE: Davwud Oct 29, 2009 01:20 PM

                  Well, then, lots of gravy is important. This year was the first year I had enough gravy for all my leftovers, but I cheated. In addition to boiling the neck, heart, etc., with veggies, and separating the drippings, I used a container of chicken stock to up the quantity. Is that wrong?

                  1. re: Full tummy
                    Davwud RE: Full tummy Oct 29, 2009 03:39 PM

                    I'd say no. It's better than using water.


                    1. re: Davwud
                      jayt90 RE: Davwud Oct 29, 2009 03:43 PM

                      Agreed. The turkey stock will usually be dominant.

                      1. re: jayt90
                        Full tummy RE: jayt90 Oct 29, 2009 05:55 PM

                        It tasted good; that's all that matters!!!

        3. mcsheridan RE: rubys Oct 28, 2009 08:32 PM

          The NY Times ran a great make-ahead 'intensely turkey' recipe for turkey gravy last year.


          As fourunder suggested, you cannot have too much gravy. This recipe yields about 20 servings, can be made up to a month ahead and frozen, and can be halved if necessary.

          1. coll RE: rubys Oct 29, 2009 01:15 AM

            I guess this isn't as common as I thought, but I deglaze the pan with white wine or vermouth (or champagne if I'm holding some in my hand at the time).

            1. cassoulady RE: rubys Oct 29, 2009 09:45 AM

              two years ago, I slaved over a great gravy. One of my guests showed up with a quart container of "back up gravy" in case we ran out. I thought it was silly. Then, one of my guests who appeared to have been over-served during cocktail hour, dropped the gravy boat all over the floor!! The back up gravy was very appreciated!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cassoulady
                coll RE: cassoulady Oct 29, 2009 11:00 AM

                My gravy is very well received, but I've had a large foodservice size can in the garage for the last several years, just in case. If I ever use it, I will replace it before the next year, for sure! Once the gravy's out of the pan, there's no going back.

              2. l
                LJS RE: rubys Oct 29, 2009 11:31 AM

                On the theory that there is no such thing as too much gravy, I also have back-up. We have turkey for all sorts of get-togethers and I save the bones to make stock, then reduce that stock until it is a demi-glaze. That added to a roux/ base of flour and chicken fat (or turkey fat) slightly cooked and thinned with good stock (chicken or turkey, even canned) will stretch gravy.

                I've never had the misfortune to have my primary gravy dropped by an "overly-refreshed" guest, but my sister-in-law (so NOT a cook) once helped tidy the kitchen prepatory to taking the turkey out of the oven. She got rid of all "that messy giblet and onion" stuff in the pan on the back of the stove to help me out!!!!!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: LJS
                  coll RE: LJS Oct 29, 2009 11:32 AM

                  Sounds like something my sister in law would do too. She once volunteered to make doggie bags for everyone to take home, and forgot to leave anything for us. She is now banned from my kitchen when it is in high volume.

                  1. re: LJS
                    Davwud RE: LJS Oct 29, 2009 11:35 AM

                    That's okay, I took the neck, etc. and assorted other pieces I cut from the turkey and simmered them in water for a few hours to make some turkey stock for the gravy the next day.
                    I awoke to find the pot had been cleaned and everything had vanished. Seems my FIL got up in the middle of the night to check the bird (on the smoker) and was hungry. He ate the "Soup" I made. I was seeing several shades of red at the time but now 5 - 6 years later as I type this I have a big smile on my face. I guess all disasters are good for a laugh eventually.


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