Thanksgiving Day Turkey Gravy

This. Is. The Best. Gravy. Rich, luscious, delicious. We have so many good things to say about this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. This is the first time we’ve used a mire poix (chopped carrots, onions and celery) and giblets to help form the gravy’s base. What a great way to add so much depth and flavor. And this was especially important because we grilled the turkey this year, so we didn’t have access to the pan drippings.

Our Favorite Gravy
Our Favorite Gravy

Cook Down the Neck and Giblets Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the turkey neck and giblets; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 pound of chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey parts and onions release their juices, about 20 minutes.

Cooking Down the Giblets
Cooking Down the Giblets

Make it Brothy Add 8 cups chicken broth; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, skimming any foam that rises to surface, until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Strain broth into a large bowl (you should have about 8 cups). Toss the neck and giblets, and keep the broth. (Broth can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Make the Mire Poix Pulse 2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped carrots in a food processor until broken into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about 5 pulses. Add 2 cups coarsely chopped celery and 1/2 pound coarsely chopped onions; pulse until all vegetables are broken into 1/8-inch pieces, about 5 pulses.

Vegetable Chop
Vegetable Chop

Cook it Down Melt butter in the now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pulsed vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and well browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in 6 T flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add reserved broth; bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and 10 whole black peppercorns; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 6 cups, 30 to 35 minutes.

Strain gravy through a fine-mesh strainer into clean saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Stir in diced giblets, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Our Favorite Gravy
Our Favorite Gravy

Browse all of our Thanksgiving recipes (from years past and present) here.


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Turkey neck and giblets
  • 1 pound onions, chopped coarse (divided into two parts)
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
  • 2 cups celery ribs, chopped coarse
  • 6 T butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper

Published by

Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

10 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day Turkey Gravy”

  1. This sounds like an excellent gravy for when you don’t have pan drippings available. Even when I do, I always cook the giblets and neck with onion, carrot and celery and add the broth to the gravy. I like to add a splash of white wine to my turkey gravy; it adds a touch of brightness to the flavour.

    1. Great call on the white wine! We’d say pretty much anything’s better with a splash of vino. 🙂 And sounds like you’re already basically making this gravy! Have you tried grilling the turkey yet?

      1. No, I’ve never grilled a turkey! I do, however, name my turkey each year (I generally make one at Thanksgiving or Christmas). For some reason I usually call them Hubert or something like that. If I try grilling the big bird, I’ll have to come up with a less stodgy and traditional name 😊

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s