Make Ahead Turkey (Thanksgiving) Gravy

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a whole turkey to make gravy.  However, you must slow-roast turkey to get good gravy. And now that so many us deep fry or cook our turkey in an electric roaster, we no longer have the drippings to make the gravy.

I have to admit I have witnessed some pretty seasoned cooks have complete breakdowns at Thanksgiving when it comes time to gravy making.  There is just too much going on at that moment; the bird is out of the oven, they are trying to deglaze the pan, the side dishes are almost ready or are getting cold, there are too many people around...let's face it, gravy anxiety is real.

However, all of this pandemonium can be eliminated with a little planning.  The secret is turkey wings from the grocery store.  Every store has them and they are so cheap.  When you roast the wings with celery, onions and garlic, you have the makings of a perfect turkey stock, which you will make into the perfect gravy.  This can be done months ahead and frozen, taking out the stock when you need it.

On Thanksgiving you can make the gravy while the bird is in the oven as opposed to when it's out, which many of you know is a very stressful activity.

So relieve your stress this year and make gravy ahead of time. 

Give it a try...


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and in a large sauté or roasting pan (I use my large Dutch oven), roast (use a lower oven rack) turkey wings, celery, onion and garlic for 2 hours.  Remove from the oven.


Add water and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer on low for one hour, uncovered.  Stock will reduce.


Strain the stock into a bowl with at least a 4 cup capacity.  Place liquid into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight and remove the fat accumulated on top.


In a large sauté pan, melt unsalted butter and whisk in flour.  Cook, whisking constantly over medium heat for two minutes.  This will cook out the flour taste.  Whisk in defatted turkey stock and cook until thickened.  (The gravy should coat the back of a spoon.)  Add milk, cider vinegar and salt to taste.  If by some chance you cannot get your gravy as thick as you like it, don't panic.  It's always possible you measured something wrong.  In an emergency, you can always dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in one teaspoon of cold water and SLOWLY add it to the gravy while whisking.  It will be fine.  Just remember, gravy often thickens up a bit when it's off the heat and you want a nice pourable liquid for all those lovely side dishes.


Pour the gravy into a warmed gravy boat and Thanksgiving dinner is ready!


Now doesn't that look good?

Print Recipe

Make Ahead Turkey (Thanksgiving) Gravy

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: 2-1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 turkey wings
  • 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped (use leaves too)
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed with the back end of a knife
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups turkey stock, strained and defatted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and in a large sauté or roasting pan (I use my large Dutch oven), roast (on a lower oven rack) turkey wings, celery, onion and garlic for 2 hours. Remove from the oven.
  • Add water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer on low for one hour, uncovered. Stock will reduce.
  • Strain the stock into a bowl with at least a 4 cup capacity. Place liquid into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight and remove the fat accumulated on top.
  • In a large sauté pan, melt unsalted butter and whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly over medium heat for two minutes. This will cook out the flour taste. Whisk in defatted turkey stock and cook until thickened. (The gravy should coat the back of a spoon.) Add milk, cider vinegar and salt to taste. If by some chance you cannot get your gravy as thick as you like it, don't panic. It's always possible you measured something wrong. In an emergency, you can always dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in one teaspoon of cold water and SLOWLY add it to the gravy while whisking. It will be fine. Just remember, gravy often thickens up a bit when it's off the heat and you want a nice pourable liquid for all those lovely side dishes.

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113 Comments and 33 Replies

  1. While we don’t have Thanksgiving here this is a great idea for Christmas when I’ll be roasting a large chicken up at my Folks’ place. Using homemade stock and the pan juices will equal super scummy gravy.

    And thank you for the pulled chicken recipe from two posts ago – I happily devoured it tonight, and had a second helping! Zebbycat was not amused.

    Hugles from New Zealand, Michelle xxx (Zebby is very busy snoring)

  2. This is a WONDERFUL idea! I cannot believe I never thought of this before, guess that is why I keep reading your blog~ you come up with the best tips and recipes. Now I am soooooo hungry for turkey gravy over dressing, with a lot of cranberry sauce on the side!

  3. nina 3

    This gravy looks absolutely delicious!!

  4. Susan 4

    That is the best looking turkey gravy I have ever seen and I pride myself on my gravy! Who needs to wait for Thanksgiving with this great method?

  5. pam 5

    This is a great idea! I’m always frantically trying to get the gravy to thicken to that perfect point, while trying to get everything else ready.

  6. wow – What a great idea! That is always one (of the many) stressors on that day! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Laura 7

    we cook our turkeys in the rotisserie will never ever bake one again… and use the gibles and neck to make giblet gravey… yummmmm love your pre made stock… and now for the question of the day… whats the difference in broth and stock ?(like what they have in the store)

  8. Jeez…how easy! I never would have thought about doing this. Thanks for sharing!

  9. donna 9

    I do this every year,I base my recipe on the Womans Day one, similar to yours. Such the time saver and its so good!! I think I will try yours this year instead.

  10. Julia 10

    This is terrific! I especially like the make ahead version because it’s so easy to strain the excess fat.

  11. Beautiful gravy. I actually do pretty good when it comes to gravy making. Nothing offends me more to see someone make gravy from a packet or pour from a jar when it is relatively simple. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Making gravy just before a large dinner is a nightmare! This takes all the stress and mess out of one of our favorite parts of the dinner. Thanks.

  13. I love this! Not only does it ease the stress a little (sometimes I end up not making the gravy because everything is done and everyone is waiting…), but it looks like you get lots of gravy, more than you might get making it from whatever good stuff you get from the bird. Thanks! :)

  14. Amanda 14

    That looks so incredible, I am saving this!

  15. Jennifer 15

    Hi, when roasting in the oven, did you cover your dutch oven or leave uncovered?
    Looks great, can’t wait to try.

  16. dawn 17

    You just made my Thanksgiving! This is always m biggest stressor becuase everyone is standing in the kitchen and watching! Ugh.

  17. Candy 18

    Cathy, I think you might have just saved my life. I’m actually a dynamite cook – with one exception. I CANNOT MAKE GRAVY. For all the reasons you mentioned above. I am totally making this this year, and my family will be AMAZED because my gravy skills (or lack thereof) are reknowned. THANK YOU!

  18. Alta 20

    Thanks for reminding me! I did this last year and it was great, but I’d forgotten about it!

  19. Laurie 21

    Great idea to make the gravy ahead of time! I especially like the fact you can skim off the fat.

  20. LilSis 22

    Thanks. What a great idea to make it ahead. And, my husband will probably love this recipe. He’s not crazy about the giblet gravy that my family has at Thanksgiving. (Since he’s from Chicago and I’m from Texas) I think his mom always made the brown gravy.

    This will go perfectly with our Make Ahead Mashed Potato recipe.

  21. Ginny 23

    Thank you! I’m hosting thanksgiving… they want gravy with mashed potatoes but instead of a roasted turkey one of my guests is making a turkey casserole… this will be perfect… :)

  22. June 24

    Your pic of the gravy with mashed potatoes qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Man, that gravy! Even skunk butt would be good with that. Ha.

  23. Bob 25

    Yeah, that looks good. I would like to bathe in it.

  24. Laura L. 26

    How far ahead can you make this and how would you re-heat it? Is freezing an option? I am making my cranberry sauce and gravy ahead of time this year.

  25. Lena in VT 27

    I think you just saved my marriage. By the time it’s time to make the gravy, there is so much going on I was screach at my husband and we have a lovely argument before the meal. Oh yes, the holidays, LOL! I’m doing this.

  26. SnugBug 28

    You KNOW how much I love mashed potatoes and gravy…I’ll be right over!!!

  27. Mary 29

    This look dark and rich and wonderful. The best part of the recipe is that you’ve given it to us now, rather then on the day before the holiday.

  28. noble pig 30

    I’ve never made it more than a couple days ahead. I just pour it into a saucepan and reheat. It will have a skin on it but that will disappear with whisking as you bring it to a gentle simmer only, do not let the bottom burn.

    I have also never frozen the gravy, only the stock.

    Usually I just make the gravy while the turkey is cooking as the stock has been prepared ahead of time.

  29. Brian 31

    Great idea to make the stock in advance. It’s always a mad rush to get everything done on Thanksgiving.

  30. Marjie 32

    Now this is a good idea! Confessions: I never, ever use flour in gravy; I whisk cornstarch in a tiny bit of water, whisk that in, and never have lumps. Second confession: to avoid using salt, you can stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice per cup of broth, and it perks the gravy right up. Yeah, hubby was just diagnosed with high blood pressure, so my tiny amount of salt usage is being pared back still further. Third confession: I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about Thanksgiving already!

  31. Wonderful idea. Although I do make my last-minute gravy, I definitely would appreciate having some homemade gravy already done. I usually make my gravy with the pan drippings and a stock I made from the neck and giblets, but I could just save those and freeze them for gravy at some other point.

    I am making the turkey at home this year and bringing it to another dinner (at the home of a vegetarian who won’t make the turkey, but will have non-vegetarain guests like me). Being able to just pop the turkey out of the oven and have the gravy already done will be a big help.

  32. Laura L. 35

    I went back and re-read the entry and saw that, but thanks for your response. Will do the same! : )

  33. Debby 36

    I’ve made a version of this, but yours looks richer. I’ll have to convert to your way. Sad but true– one Thanksgiving, I poured the stock into a colander in my sink…and then I realized that I forgot to put a pot underneat. Yep, the whole beautiful stock went down the drain. I will never do that again, because now I use a pasta pot. Great tutorial. I’ve been reading your blog for ages, but I don’t leave a comment. I just wanted to say “hi” and I love your blog and photos a lot.

  34. Katrina 37

    Snapping fingers and dancing she sings in a whisper, “The holidays are comin’…the holidays are comin’…
    Yummy gravy!

  35. Lisa Sipple 38

    I am thanking you now from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much the gravy stresses me out.

    Thank you my holiday will be good!!

  36. This is a great tip for those who are stressed out enough on Thanksgiving. Gravy is usually not a problem since I cook down the neck and giblets and make stock with that which I use for the gravy. I also saute mushrooms and the juice from that makes for good gravy too. Today I posted your upside-down apple cake – a real showstopper that I’ll be making for Thanksgiving too.

  37. Liz C. 40

    Cathy, I’ve got to tell you that this is exactly as I make it (except your pictures are way better than mine) with one tiny exception. I also add a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet, which only enhances the flavor. It was a little trick of my grandmother’s.

    Luckily, we’ve been invited to our best friends’ home this year, so I’m only taking what they tell me to.

  38. OMG–I LOVE this idea!! I am definitely doing this as I get a little testy about gravy making on Thanksgiving!

  39. Okay, prepare yourself-I hate gravy. I know, how could I? Everyone else in the house loves it so I try to make it from scratch, but sometimes I just open a jar! Just give me a pile of spuds and butter, salt and pepper please! I will bookmark this though, since I think the family would enjoy it.

  40. My mother in law would be all over a make ahead turkey. She doesn’t get to cook turkey any more though. She was voted off the island. Looks tasty.

  41. Melynda 44

    How great is this? Even when you roast a turkey, there is NOT enough gravy. Problem solved, thanks.

  42. I know this gravy anxiety moment well! This make ahead gravy is pure genius! :D

  43. elra 46

    What a fantastic idea of making the gravy earlier. It will certainly help to calm me down in the kitchen knowing that one of important component of Thanksgiving dish is ready. Thx for the idea Cathy.

  44. This looks like an awesome recipe. I would have never thought of using the wings separately. No one in my house eats them anyway!

    I think turkey is so hard! I bought a $75 orgnaic turkey last year. (Blogged about it today, along with an interview with a turkey expert.) Will probably do the same this year. I’ll bet this gravy would make it taste even better than it did.

  45. Pam 49

    Could a gravy look any better? Great photos Cathy, the last shot is making me drool.

  46. Kayola 50

    You seriously never cease to amaze me……I love all of your dishes….and there have been times gravy has been the last straw for me…..thanks for the recipe….I have NOT dropped dead….I just can’t get it all together…YOU ARE MY HERO…Because you seem to have it all together and jog 5 miles to boot before the rains come….AMAZING I tell ya!!!!!

  47. Lauren 51

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! ditto what everyone has been saying, this will save my thanksgiving :)

  48. So, true that gravy anxiety is real! This is a great plan, especially for fried turkey.

  49. I suffer from the WORST gravy anxiety! So this is a definite to-do for me! Especially being that I can make this ahead and then defrost and heat up the day of! Thank you so much for this!

  50. Robin W. 55

    I have done this for the past 5 years and it is the best!!!! No muss or fuss on the big day – and it is perfect every time!!!

  51. That does look tasty. I’ve always boiled the giblets and neck and used the liquid from that. I’ll have to try your method because it does look delicious.

  52. Really good idea! The consistency looks perfect too.

  53. Lydia 58

    This is going to change my life! I’m definitely gravy-phobic and I agonize every Thanksgiving about whether the gravy will live up to the rest of the meal. No more worrying — I’m going to make it ahead and freeze it.

  54. mikhon 59

    Great looking turkey gravy. Sounds more delicious. Hope to find the fried turkey recipe < ?b> together with this gravy.

  55. I am SO doing this! Thanks!!!

  56. I admit I get extreme gravy anxiety. You have saved me. Thank you so much!

  57. Jenny 62

    So, If I need to make more gravy than just 2.25 cups, do I double or triple everything….or just the water? I know that’s kind of a dumb question…but I wasn’t sure.

  58. Noble Pig 63

    Yes, increase everything.  One recipe make about three cups stock.  So if you doubled the turkey meat and the water you would end up with about 6 cups turkey stock.  You could then triple the gravy making part (milk, cider etc) since you would have six cups of stock to make gravy.

  59. kerri 64

    I made this recipe today and the stock didn’t look nearly as good as yours. I followed the directions to a T but my stock was very watery and light colored…. not the rich dark brown that yours was. What could have gone wrong? Should I I have roasted my turkey wings longer till they were a much darker brown?

  60. Noble Pig 65

    Very strange.  I’ve made this recipe a million times and have never had a problem.  In trying to think of what went wrong a couple things crossed my mind.

    Did you use the same to roast the wings and boil the water after?  This is where the stock richness comes from, all the burnt stuff on the bottom.  If you used a different pan, you would not have gotten a rich, brown stock.

    By any chance could you have unknowingly added too much water? 

    I can’t imagine anything else that would have caused a mishap.  If you roasted your wings for 2 hours, they should have been very brown.

  61. Tim 66

    If you use the fat from the stock for the roux, instead of butter, you’ll get a little extra turkey kick. You may need to adjust the amount of flour, I usually need a pinch more.

  62. kerri 69

    I used a roasting pan and not a dutch oven so maybe that is why. Plus my veggies were piled on top of the turkey… maybe added too much moisture and steamed the turkey? One other thing is I used 2 wings and 2 thighs (only one package of wings left at the grocery store) so maybe the thighs did it? I needed to double the recipe. Added 12 cups of water at and used the same roasting pan to scrap up any goodness left on the bottom. I will have to retry with all wings and in a dutch oven. I will let you know how the gravy turns out from this stock though, won’t make that until Thursday. Thanks for all your amazing recipes.

  63. Noble Pig 70

    No, it had nothing to do with the pan or thighs, it was the amount of water.  If you only cooked for one hour on the stove with 12 cups of water you didn’t get enough of a reduction.  Even though you have already strained it I would stick it back on the stove for another hour and reduce it to concentrate the flavors. 

    Anytime you double a recipe, it most likely always increases cooking time, especially in a reduction.

  64. Tammy 71

    I just made this myself and it was light colored like a chicken stock. But the mistake I made was I put a lid on it while it roasted. It wasn’t until afterwards that I read in the comments that Cathy added to roast it UNCOVERED. (Cathy, not sure if you can add it to the recipe but it might help some.) It’s cooling in the refrigerator right now. I imagine it will still taste good, it will just be light yellowish tan instead of that pretty rich brown.

  65. sunrise 72

    You seriously never cease to amaze me……I love all of your dishes….and there have been times gravy has been the last straw for me…..thanks for the recipe….I have NOT dropped dead….I just can’t get it all together…YOU ARE MY HERO…Because you seem to have it all together and jog 5 miles to boot before the rains come….AMAZING I tell ya!!!!!

  66. The personal loans suppose to be useful for guys, which are willing to start their business. In fact, it’s not very hard to get a term loan.

  67. you’ll get a little extra turkey kick. You may need to adjust the amount of flour, I usually need a pinch more.

  68. I made this today. The house smelled amazing while it was roasting, and the stock looks absolutely delicious. Never again will I find myself scrambling to make gravy on Thanksgiving day. I couldn’t find turkey wings at New Seasons, so they suggested I use a turkey back. Thanks for the recipe.

  69. LANA 76

    Cannot wait to try this recipe

  70. It’s so nice to be able to bring out my turkey stock and make gravy while there’s a lull in the action. Broke out the Noble Pig wine today, too.

  71. Kim Frakes 78

    Looks simply Delicious. I am normally in charge of the side dishes and not the turkey,dressing and gravy bc I did not want to tackle the bird part. This blog might actually get me ready for NEXT year ! thanks so MUCH !

  72. Brae 79

    I froze the full gravy 3 months ago, just defrosted it and it’s perfectly fine – just reheat!

  73. Cherie 80

    I am cooking Thanksgiving turkey this year and one of our guests is quite allergic to celery. She cannot even tolerate products such as soups or sauces with this ingredient. What would you suggest instead of celery for this terrific looking stock/gravy? Thanks for your recipe, I plan to make it also for another occasion with the celery!

  74. Jill 82

    I was just wondering what the vinegar does in this recipe. I’ve never seen this ingredient when making gravy.

  75. Jill 87

    I just re-read your notes. So, is it possible to make the entire recipe and freeze it?

  76. Roux 89

    This year, I am responsible for the turkey, gravy and dressing and decided to try this as it gets pretty hectic in my kitchen on Thanksgiving. (I have a spinal cord injury and am pretty overwhelmed anyway but am a purist when it comes to certain ‘sacred’ dishes and want them done perfectly.) I am roasting the wings and vegetables now. They have about thirty more minutes to go and I saw that they were very light on the side facing downward so I turned them over so they can brown on the other side. That might help with the light coloring people were discussing. Also, I added a carrot to the vegetable mix and it just smells divine- I think it will add an element of additional richness to the gravy and maybe a little color as well.

    I am so looking forward to the final product- I will freeze the stock and put it in the fridge overnight next Wednesday so it will be thawed out in time to finish the gravy. What a great idea to have this part of Thanksgiving made into something so uncomplicated! Many, many thanks!!!

  77. Marianne Dorsey 90

    It was a mess to make but whattttttt a difference. I made one the way I do normally,
    boiling the neck ect. with carrots, celery and onions. Then your way .. All I can say is,
    yours was by FAR the best. Yes! it was more time consuming but worth every minute.
    Thank you soooo much. Marianne

  78. Savannah 91

    I made the stock last night ( doubled the recipe) and finished the gravy tonight and it is delicious! I will never go back to regular gravy again. I could eat this as a soup! It is definitely some work/mess to make, so while it saves time the day of, it surely makes up for that when you are preparing it. Well worth it though!

  79. I’ve been doing this for years, following my grandmothers recipe whilch uses giblets, turkey or chicken. It is a lifesaver. OUr family considers gravy a beverage so I make much more ahead of time, then save the drippngs from the actual bird to whisk together after dinner so everybody can take home gravy with their turkey. (we cook an extra turkey breast & a packet of thighs the day before which also get the gravy treatment. )

    P.S. Do the same trick for your big beef roast, using bones and a fatty chuck roast , on a bed of carrots, celery and onion .

  80. Melissa 94

    Does anyone know if you can make his using turkey legs instead of wings?

  81. Lauren 98

    I don’t have a dutch oven. But I have casserole dishes. Do you think that would work out ok? If I try to scrape the drippings from the bottom. It looks delish!

  82. Pam PB 100

    Can you add sherry instead of the cider vinegar at the end?

  83. Linda 102

    I’m roasting the fixin’s for this make ahead gravy at this moment. I’m using turkey legs, because I couldn’t find wings to save me. I’ll probably hold off on making the gravy part on Thanksgiving Day, so I can include any roasted drippings. Will probably have lots of gravy, but what the heck – gravy’s good on anything. I watched Food Network’s Live Thanksgiving Show yesterday, and Ina Garten adds a little cognac or brandy to her finished gravy. Happy Thanksgiving to you all – Good Luck with your meals!

  84. Hello Kathy, I just wanted you to know I used your recipe to make enough gravy for 80 people. Our village had an American Thanksgiving Quiz Night. As the token Yank, I got asked to do the decorations, pumpkin pies and the gravy. As I have never done gravy on a scale like this before, your recipe was a lifesaver! I roasted a turkey 3 weeks ahead and made 4 batches of stock and froze it ready. On the day, (Saturday, 23rd) I started making it in small batches until I had a Dutch oven full of gravy; no lumps, beautiful colour and wonderful flavour.. The cider vinegar was a great flavour booster. I loved how it tasted. Thank you. x

  85. Jill 104

    Working on my stock today. But, after cooking the wings & vegetables in the oven at 375 for 2 hours, mine never turned that nice dark color as in the photograph. I was looking forward to the intense color because I imagine the flavor is also more intense.

  86. Toni 106

    We’re frying our turkey this year and I MUST have gravy. I found this recipe and prepared it today. I couldn’t find wings at the store, so I just cut the wings off the turkey and used them. That was a bit of pain….had to wrap the turkey back up nice and snug. I used an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven for the roasting. After I strained the stock, the bottom of my pan was pretty dark…burnt looking. Does this sound right? The house smells amazing….just like Thanksgiving. I hope I didn’t burn the stock…

  87. Mrs j 108

    It is delicious!!!!!! Thank u!!! First turkey day at my house…..

  88. Dawna 109

    I followed your roasting directions but mine did not come out as pretty brown as yours. I’m going to make it as is and hope lol but yours is so pretty! Email me please and tell me how it is so pretty for future!

  89. Vickie W. 110

    Thank you so much for this recipe! We always have 2 turkeys – one fried and one smoked – so I usually just roast the necks & giblets to make gravy, but there is never enough and it is not very tasty. I prepared this recipe for my family and in-laws and it was a hit! I might add that I live in south Louisiana, where we are very picky about our gravy, & everyone at the table (including my mother-in-law who is a fantastic cook), said this gravy was delicious! I was leery of the apple cider vinegar, but after adding it, I tasted the gravy and discovered it definitely was the perfect ingredient to enhance the flavor. This recipe is going in my file and will be a permanent addition to our Thanksgiving meal. Thanks again!!

  90. Cassy B 111

    Perfect! I always run out of gravy so having extra on hand is a big help. I used a turkey back, instead of the wings. I think the most important thing is the method of rosting then boiling to get the most out of the flavor.

  91. Anita Johnson 112

    Because of food allergies, we are a dairy free and gluten free family. Holiday meals can be a real challenge. I was wondering if I could substitute soy milk for cow’s milk and use all corn starch instead of flour?

    • Cathy 113

      You can try it but the ratios will be different. Also one of the best parts of the gravy is using vinegar at the end, which will break down the cornstarch. It’s something you’ll have to play with for good results.

  92. Bridget 114

    Wonderful pictures and what a great idea! I make stock ahead of time, but never thought to go ahead and make the gravy ahead of time also. I have recently started making homemade stock from rotisserie chickens, so my tip to add to this would be putting all the roasted wings/bones/veggies into the crockpot and letting it cook on low overnight (making sure to deglaze the roasting pan to get all the great caramelization). The longer process really brings out all of the flavors and makes a very rich stock. For the folks whose roasted meat and veggies didn’t brown enough, make sure you don’t have too much moisture in the pan so that it really caramelizes rather than steaming. Thanks for the awesome blog post!

  93. Deborah 116

    Thank you Nobel Pig! I just made the stock and it turned out so rich and brown. I used my 7 qt Le Cruset oval pot. Layered in the veggies and placed the very large turkey wings on top. Then just a few grinds of salt and pepper, plus a sprinkle of poultry seasoning. Roasted as directed, Once the water was added it seemed to evaporate quickly so I added about 3 more cups of water. After straining I have almost 5 cups of stock – that will make a double batch of gravy come Thanksgiving. Just can’t have too much.

  94. SkippyMom 118

    Although I don’t stress over gravy on Thanksgiving day – I have been doing this too long, I do remember the early days. We like to let our turkey rest for a while, which gives me plenty of time to make gravy.

    What a lovely recipe and I am excited to use it. It looks so delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.

  95. Trish 119

    I’m in the process of making this, it is simmering. Can you get too much onion? I used a medium size (a little bigger than medium), it has a very strong onion smell and taste like french onion soup. Will the flavor be okay?

  96. Brae 121

    Roasted, as directed, and the wings came out delicious but the pan and some of the vegies were quite blackened. Went ahead with the gravy making, and the gravy does have that burnt taste. Is there a fix for that?
    I’m afraid I need to re-do the whole thing with shorter time in the oven, checking so it browns but does not become black in the pan. Just checking in case there are other suggestions.

    • SkippyMom 122

      I think it you kept in covered in the water [you'll have to keep checking] and keep it covered with tinfoil or a lid – it shouldn’t burn. The juice tends to evaporate and the exposed veggies will burn. Good luck. It really is a great recipe.
      PS – and cooking time – excellent idea. Mine went full time and didn’t burn, but I have had some ovens that were different, so I always do a test run with a new recipe.

  97. Elizabeth 123

    Why Apple Cider Vinegar and Whole Milk ?????

  98. Sharon 125

    i don’t think I can buy Turkey wings. Could I use several chicken wings instead?

  99. Eilleen Dempsey 127

    Oh my gosh. I had just started to simmer some turkey wings with celery and garlic when I read this linked from Steamykitchen. I immediately turned off my pot and moved the ingrediants out of the stockpot and into the roaster (minus the water and plus some onion). It is now roasting in the oven. I will let you know how it turns out. Perfect timing.

  100. Jay 129

    I couldn’t find wings. Are turkey drumsticks ok to use? After two hours the house smells delicious but it didn’t brown. Will it still come out ok?

  101. renay 130

    I’m going try this tomorrow,wish me luck!

  102. Donna Nestor 132

    I am known for my delicious fried chicken and turkey gravy that people can’t get enough of, but I do have to say, that this looks so yummy and I will definitely have to make it. Who knows…it could be better than mine…uh oh!!!

  103. Karen Heiting 133

    has anyone gone through the entire process ahead of time, or should the thickening be done same day as serving?

  104. Joann 135

    what herbs can be used? Just pepper?

  105. Marg Abel 137

    Help! Just made Make Ahead Gravy to solve “gravy anxiety.” Have cooked many turkeys over the years & usually make tasty gravy (without recipe) mainly by adding turkey drippings to giblet & neck water then thickening a little with cornstarch. Make Ahead Gravy was to be my solution to gravy anxiety! For Thanksgiving, having 12 guests, so I doubled recipe & cooked 4 turkey wings & veggies, uncovered, for about 3+ hours trying to get them dark before adding water, etc. Smelled great but never got as dark as pictured. Finally added 12 c. water & cooked, uncovered, for another 2 1/2 hours. It reduced to 6 c. of stock. Refrigerated & skimmed fat next day. Stock was totally solid. Now, 2 days later, decided to make gravy before Thanksgiving. Tripled recipe since I had 6 c. of stock. Did not turn out at all as I hoped. Came out just a little darker than cream gravy. Doesn’t taste bad (it’s edible) but definitely does not have much turkey flavor & isn’t dark, rich color. I cooked roux as directed for 2 min. (plus maybe 30 sec.). It was a light tan color. I think I should have cooked it until roux turned much darker brown but doubt if that would have solved weak turkey flavor. I finished recipe & used cornstarch to thicken just a little more. It is edible but not close to what I expected. To TRY to salvage it, I’ll get a small turkey tomorrow & cook it for drippings to add to this gravy. I cooked everything but roux much longer than recipe said as I was reminded in comments to cook longer when recipe is increased. Comments were so positive plus the idea of Make Ahead Gravy would be life-saver. If I can’t find out what to do differently, I won’t be able to use it again. I want this to work but I’m stumped. Suggestions?

    • Cathy 138

      There are so many variables here, I wish I knew or understood what the problem is….the color?

      • Marg Abel 139

        Sorry. The problem is taste. Not very much like turkey. Very bland; not the powerful turkey taste I expect in turkey gravy. The color info was included as a possible clue to why it doesn’t have the real turkey taste. The other info was included to show what I did to see if you might be able to tell me what happened. Thank you.

  106. gigi 140

    Could not find turkey wings can you use turkey legs instead?

  107. Ashley 142

    I’m confused on how much water should be added??! I am making this tonight or tomorrow to prepare for Thanksgiving. I’m having 20 people so I was going to double or triple it. How much water should be added! Help!

  108. Laura Lopez 144

    trying your gravy recipe this Thanksgiving

  109. denise gardella 145

    5 Stars! I followed your recipe and this gravy is absolutely delicious, and quite easy to follow. I must say I was one of those referenced cooks who ran around at the last minute, trying to get the gravy made from the turkey drippings, never knowing how good it would turn out. This recipe is fool proof. I made the stock the day before I served it, and it only took a few minutes to complete the recipe. I froze half of the stock for Christmas dinner, and can’t wait!

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