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Feb 19, 2013 10:03 AM

Chicken vs Turkey Gravy

I don't know much about gravy. I know that of course you can flavor it however you wish, but I've noticed that while turkey gravy often is very savory with hints of wine and aromatics, chicken gravy is often much blander with a taste similar to the light colored pale gravy at most high school cafeterias. Of course many probably have delicious chicken gravy recipes but are there classic differences between these two?

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  1. Gravy is classically made with pan juices and an additional liquid (such as stock, milk, water). I always have poultry stock in the freezer from all the leftover bones (straight in the freezer after carving).

    I make my turkey gravy with the pan juices and stock made from the giblets and necks cooked in poultry stock. I usually make the roux with the browned turkey fat (from the pan), and I brown the flour. This makes a really flavorful, rich gravy.

    I don't ever make chicken gravy, but there would be less goodies in the pan, so it might tend to be less flavorful. Since gravy is like crack to me I try to limit it to a once a year thing at Thanksgiving. Otherwise I would be even fatter than I am!

    1 Reply
    1. re: dkenworthy

      Crack, that about explains it. In fact, it's the main reason I decided to have another Thanksgiving in February...I really just want to pour gravy all over meat and potatoes and go to town.

    2. I find that turkey tends to have a stronger flavor than chicken to begin with. Then there is the concept of Thanksgiving dinner, which brings to mind turkey and those associated flavors. Chicken tends to be a bit ubiquitous. But, I add lots of black pepper, sage, and thyme to mine, flavor is great. I also find I can vary chicken gravy more, because of its mild flavor.

      1. I find chicken gravy to have a much more appealing flavor so if I am forced, kicking and screaming, to cook a turkey, I will use homemade chicken stock in the gravy.

        I find that good stock is the key to good gravy (except for cream gravy, of course!) It's not good to be at the mercy, of the quality/amount of your drippings, although great ones can do wonders for your gravy.

        Any gravy can be either plain or flavored up with wine, onions, herbs, etc.