HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


How do you take your turkey - gravy, cranberry, give me some of both?

How do you dress your turkey on Thanksgiving? I'm always torn between gravy and cranberry sauce but it makes an excuse for a second helping.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Depends who did the cooking :) If it's mine, I have some bites with gravy & some with cranberry sauce/compote. If someone else prepared the food I eat the turkey plain because there's usually gluten in the gravy and too much sugar in the cranberry.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      What do you use for gluten free gravy?
      I have just used the veggies from the pan, which actually works well.

      1. re: magiesmom

        I don't always bother with a roux, but superfine rice flour is my starch of choice when I go that route.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks. I was thinking it would make more sense just to skip the roux.

    2. Everything: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry together on the fork dipped in gravy.

        1. Gravy at T'giving dinner, and cranberry sauce, mayo, turkey and stuffing on sandwiches the next day.

          1. gravy and cranberry sauce

            1. I used to do gravy on my potatoes, cranberry compote with my turkey, but now that I do potato/celery root mash with lots of butter I find I don't want to cover that flavor with gravy, so both go with my turkey--one on each side of my piece.

              1. Some of each, but the cranberry sauce has to be on a separate plate. I hate it when gravy or potatoes turn pink because of cranberry proximity.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Samalicious

                  I don't like many of my foods to touch, even on a usual day my veggies always get a separate dish. My place at the table at Thanksgiving looks ridiculous with random plates all over. I love gravy and just realized I also love cranberry sauce but if they were to mix without my control not sure how I'd feel about that pink glob.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    You're not my auntie Orpha by any chance? LOL No you can't be. She passed away. GOD she was a 'pain' to eat with at the same table! From my earliest memories she had to have literally every ingredient in a separate dish. Only went for Chinese with her once! LOL

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      That's funny. I know someone like that. So how do you feel about casseroles? Does that gross you out, all the food mixed together?

                      1. re: Jpan99

                        I'm not that extreme, it's more of a control issue rather than a gross out issue. I like to take bites of single foods and mix when I want to not when the physical laws of nature dictate. DAy to day meals the individual parts on a plate don't touch but are in relatively close proximity, the only thing that generally gets it's own dish is usually the veggies. For Thanksgiving, my main plate has turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and macaroni and cheese but such that the gravy has little risk of running into my macaroni and cheese. Sweet potatoes and greens are plated separately. Rolls, in hand so they don't plop in gravy or something moist and get soggy. I also don't mind reusing a plate but try to put things in the same spot.

                        No issue with casseroles

                        1. re: Jpan99

                          I also know someone who can't have any of her food touching. I had her over for Thanksgiving one year and she was the only one with a plate that you could see the bottom of. She even had to have her gravy in a separate container so it wouldn't get all over her food. I made her sweet potato casserole (3 servings so she could have leftovers) in individual ramekins. Truth be told, I did that primarily because she has a nut allergy, but it did look pretty against the royal blue ramekins. I also had to make separate dressing for her, stuffing for the rest of us, because I use pecans in my stuffing. I used boxed chicken stock to make her gravy, since the drippings from my turkey would have been exposed to nuts. That just made for 2 kinds of stuffing/dressing for everyone else, as well as lots of extra gravy(if there is such a thing!).

                          As to the original question, I have turkey (dark meat only), stuffing and gravy alternating with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes I have dressing and/or mashed potatoes with gravy and no turkey. Can't stand cranberry sauce, although I make it for the rest of the gang.

                          1. re: KailuaGirl

                            Yeah. I know a few who think they don't like their food touching.

                            She must have been really *special* to/for you... special gravy and all... she musta liked the special white sauce too.....

                    2. Several years ago, someone made me "turkey confit" made with turkey thighs immersed and submerged in duck fat.

                      This needed nothing more than knife and fork. Wait. Let me try that again.

                      "This needed nothing more than a fork."

                      1. Stuffing layered on top of the turkey (dark meat please). Then cranberries on top of that. Then ladle me gravy on top of .... everything.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Gravy on the bottom. Then turkey in one corner then mashed potato, then the peas/carrots. Cranberry jelly in a side dish. Cranberries must never actually touch anything but the turkey.

                        2. Turkey/stuffing/gravy with a bit of cranberry makes the perfect bite.

                          1. Cranberry sauce on my turkey. Gravy on my potatoes.


                                1. re: mamueller

                                  Erma Bombeck said, that is her household, gravy is considered a beverage.

                                  1. re: bourbonnie

                                    And maybe for Paula Dean's household too.

                                2. I take my Gravy with whatever is on the plate.

                                  Actually, just gimme a Vat of Gravy... and a straw.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. Both, please. Good cranberry sauce cuddled up to anything with gravy is wonderful to me. I don't really even need the turkey.

                                    1. I eat parts (neck, wing), not the sliced turkey meat on Thanksgiving, so there4 is no need for gravy on the turkey. I will have a monkey dish of gravy by my plate and will use it to moisten the stuffing or dinner rolls as needed.
                                      I don't like cranberry in any shape or form, no it's a non issue for me.
                                      Friday evening, will be hot open faced turkey sandwiches on sliced Challah and they will be generously covered with gravy.