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Make-Ahead Gravy

Yield: 4 cups each stock and gravy

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I say that gravy is the very best part of the Thanksgiving meal. But how do you make deeply flavored, velvety gravy when you don’t oven-roast a whole turkey? I’ve got you covered with this handy make-ahead gravy. And because it’s make-ahead, you won’t have to grapple with the last-minute scramble of preparing the gravy after you’ve taken the bird out of the oven and your guests are eager to dig in to the holiday meal.


For the turkey stock

  • 3 lb. turkey or chicken wings
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh sage and thyme
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

For the gravy

  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock, at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size 1/4 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 70
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 50
  • Fat (g): 6
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 70
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 1


Make the turkey stock

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F. Put the wings in a large, deep roasting pan. Roast, flipping once halfway through cooking time, for 40 minutes. Transfer the wings to a large Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot. Add about 1/2 cup water to the roasting pan, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned bits and drippings into the pot with the wings.
  • To the pot, add the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, sage, thyme, and 10 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to low and simmer gently for 2-1/2 hours, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Season with the salt, then strain, discarding the solids.

Make the gravy

  • Melt the butter in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, and cook gently, stirring, until softened but not colored, about 2 minutes. Sift the flour over the shallots, stirring to incorporate. Cook, stirring, until the roux is lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly add the stock in ladlefuls, stirring to incorporate. When it is all added, cook, simmering gently, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Use immediately or allow to cool, then refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days. When you reheat the gravy, you may need to add a few tablespoons of stock or water to achieve the desired consistency.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Hbellmoore | 11/24/2021

    I love to make-ahead nature of this gravy. However it leaves out some very important details are critical to a successful gravy. When you make the roux, need to ensure that it gets a nice rich dark color, without burning. Otherwise you will have a pale less appetizing gravy. Also, this takes much longer than 8 minutes to thicken beyond a thin liquid.

  • Dort | 12/24/2019

    I've made this twice and like the method. It is a great way to get a decent gravy without relying on the drippings which sometimes aren't very plentiful. Question... When I make the stock, there is of course fat on the top. Do you include it when adding the stock to the roux, or chill the stock and remove it? Or should I include it as part of the butter for the roux?

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