Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Chef John 15813

"This make-ahead turkey gravy frees up valuable kitchen time for Thanksgiving, plus it will look and taste even better than those frantic, last-minute versions."

Ingredients 2 h 15 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 115 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 115 kcal
  • 6%
  • Fat:
  • 6.6 g
  • 10%
  • Carbs:
  • 10.2g
  • 3%
  • Protein:
  • 4.1 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 23 mg
  • 8%
  • Sodium:
  • 73 mg
  • 3%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Combine onion, carrots, celery, and vegetable oil in a large roasting pan and toss to coat. Place turkey wings on top of vegetables
  3. Place roasting pan in the preheated oven and cook until the turkey wings are browned and vegetables are caramelized and softened, 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Transfer turkey wings and vegetables to a large stockpot. Place the roasting pan over a stovetop burner on medium heat. Pour 2 tablespoons cold water into the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer mixture to the stockpot and add 10 cups cold water, thyme, and garlic.
  5. Bring turkey wing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until meat falls off the bone, about 3 hours. Skim off turkey fat throughout the process and set aside 2 tablespoons.
  6. Strain turkey stock and reserve 6 cups of stock; discard all the solids.
  7. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons reserved turkey fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and cook, whisking continuously, until it begins to smell like cooked pie crust, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour in turkey stock, whisking continuously. Increase heat to high and simmer until thick and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.
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Reviews 87

  1. 112 Ratings

Patricia Canerdy

Made this for Thanksgiving dinner. Took the advise of some previous reviews and tweaked the recipe a little. I felt that 10 cups of water was too much for a couple of turkey wings and adjusted to 31/2 cups of water and 3 1/2 cups of canned chicken stock. I added a little celery salt to taste and ended up with a recipe that I will be using every Thanksgiving. What I really loved about this recipe is that I made my gravy on Tuesday, put it in a quart jar and put in the refrigerator, all I did on Thanksgiving was heat it up in a saucepan, saved me a lot of time and work during those last minutes of crunch time. Thanks for a great recipe and great technique.


First, I must say that I don't think make-ahead gravy ever tastes as good as making it from the pan drippings, but it's a tremendous time saver for that time-consuming Thanksgiving meal. Maybe my turkey wings weren't "large" enough, I don't know, but the broth did not have a lot of flavor even though I used a box (quart) of turkey stock as part of the 10 cups of liquid. Something I rarely do when making a recipe is modify it too much first time, but I found it necessary here. I added some Better Than Bouillon Turkey Base, some poultry seasoning, finely chopped wing meat, and some of the roasted veggies which I'd pureed in the blender. It all came together well, and I ended up with a flavorful gravy. I made another recipe last year from this site, but with these modifications, I think this is a better recipe. I have to wonder if 2 turkey wings is enough to flavor 10 cups of water, and in the future, I will use more wings and some necks if I can get them. Don't like changing a recipe this much, but after tasting the gravy, it was necessary. All was good in the end, and this 4-star rating is based on the tweaks I made.


This gravy is amazing. A little time consuming but worth having that extra gravy on Thanksgiving. I ended up with 7 cups of gravy at the end because I used 14 cups of water at the broth-making stage. That's how much it took to completely cover the wings and veg. That's the only change I made. Definitely a keeper!