HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Thanksgiving Gravy

Through various threads it has been established that powdered, canned, or jarred gravy is a great big no-no. So, do you have a special gravy you like to make on Thanksgiving, or do you just make your standard turkey gravy?

I make a regular gravy, but add some extra sage, thyme and rosemary to it. I like to melt in a pat of butter just before serving it, also.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like my gravy simple..... made from pan drippings, sage, thyme and rosemary and strained.

    1 Reply
    1. re: breadfan

      The only gravy that makes an appearance with my Thanksgiving turkey is old-fashioned giblet gravy.

    2. I roast the giblets and cook them with some chicken stock and herbs. My family also likes it when I chop up some mushrooms (diced) and simmer them in the stock as well.

      1. I saute sliced mushrooms in butter with S&P, then add them (with pan juices) to the gravy when it's done.

        1. I started using the make ahead gravy recipe a few years ago. Love it! It's a standard gravy but because I use turkey wings to make the stock, then roast more wings to simmer in the stock before thickening, it's got a super hearty turkey flavor.

          1. Here's another question: How thick do you make your gravy? I used to make it quite thick, but in recent years I've been making it closer to au jus, although it still has some body. It seems to make sense to me since everything else that day is so heavy. Guess I'm not that much of a gravy nut anyway.

            But my in-laws (all of us in our 50s and 60s)have been making such a big fuss when I put it on the table, with exaggerated comments, that to be hospitable I think I'll make my thinner gravy from scratch just for me, and use a very good canned one (LeGout) thinned just a tiny bit with my drippings. No way am I making two separate gravies from scratch at the last minute! Or am I just plain wrong ;-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: coll

              It's a matter of taste, but I'd go with making a large batch of your preferred gravy, then putting some in a separate pot and thickening it with beurre manie. Only takes a few minutes to thicken and cook the flour. Same (almost) flavor, everybody's happy.

              1. re: BobB

                Thanks, if only SIL knew how to help in the kitchen! They haven't even called yet to see what's up, I'm glad I have time to take a poll before I get frantic.

                I only thought of the canned since I have a big one in the garage I should use up in the near future. I did have the bright idea of keeping the stuffing in the big, new/used crockpot I got this summer, just as I do the mashed potatoes in the old smaller one, putting that out before anyone arrives; so there's a few minutes saved off my hectic serving schedule!

            2. I personally love powdered/canned/jarred gravy. What I personally do when I'm feeling lazy is take the neck and wing tips, fry them up and then boil it while the turkey is cooking. And take the turkey drippings and stock and add it to the jarred gravy. Comes out delicious and way less work.

              1 Reply
              1. re: joonjoon

                Thanks, that's sort of what I have in mind! Except for me of course, I get the pure stuff ;-0 Or maybe I'll get totally lazy, and not look so bitchy either?

              2. Learned to make gravy from grandmother... chicken, turkey, beef, pork... method the same.

                She had this collapsible, aluminum "cup" with a lid... think it was meant as a travel thing? A few T of regular flour and water & vigorous shake for less chance of lumps.

                Pan drippings on stove top... maybe a little water to loosen them up. Stir in flour/water slurry and be prepared to stir so it won't clump up. On T-day, she had a small pot simmering on back burner with neck and other bits from inside the bird. If gravy seemed too thick, just added some of that broth. Quantity was always important, but the good brown "gunk" in pan was general abundant enough to take additional water without diluting flavor.

                Not a big fan of sage and add no additional seasonings to gravy. I only strain if big, unfortunate lumps. Not a big fan of liver either, but like to add VERY FINELY minced to gravy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kseiverd

                  I've always mixed wine or vermouth with cornstarch in a glass, although I beat it with a fork til smooth. That's how MIL did it and since it's all hubby's family that comes, what else can I do ;-) Then, in homage to my Mom, always a little pot of giblets and herbs simmering while the turkey cooks, to thin the gravy to perfection. I really really like my gravy but I do have some opinionated guests coming over.

                2. Use a blender to puree some of the cooked stuffing with broth. Stir that into the rest of the gravy components instead of using a starch thickener. The bread will make the gravy thicken, and there's added flavor. If I have apple cider on hand I use some in both stuffing and gravy when I roast any kind of poultry. I prefer summer savory to both sage and thyme.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: greygarious

                    I'm just now envisioning the giant pile of dishes and kitchenware they always leave me with.....plus the blender may be called into action earlier as a cocktail mixer anyway ;-)

                  2. So that the vegetarians can partake and because everyone likes it I make a gravy based on a browned butter and flour roux, minced shallots, vermouth, vegetable broth, herbs de Provence and shiitakes.

                    1. Roasted turkey stock made in advance. Deeply cooked butter and flour roux, white wine, herbs, and stock. Freeze a week or so before T day. Mix in pan drippings right before dinner and voila, awesomeness.