How To Make Perfect Turkey Gravy + Quick Turkey Stock

Updated: November 2020

How To Make Perfect Turkey Gravy is one of the most asked questions that I get around this time of year.  Although the turkey is usually the star of the gravy what makes or breaks a meal. This the best, and easy to make Turkey Gravy recipe.

People seem to get intimidated by making gravy on Thanksgiving. It’s usually a pretty hectic time right after the turkey comes out of the oven, and the sides are getting put out, leaving gravy as that last minute thing, and we start to stress.

What makes good gravy great, is the homemade Turkey Stock.  If you’re thinking how the hell and I supposed to make Turkey Stock without the turkey after it’s been picked apart, but you don’t.  If you’ve been following along in my Foolproof Thanksgiving series, I shared a post about How To Spatchcock a Turkey with a recipe.  Spatchcocking is a fancy way of butterflying, and gives you just what you need to make turkey stock – the back bone! Plus, it’s a quick way to cook your turkey.  By removing the spine, your bird (about 12-15lbs) cooks in 90 minutes and by laying the turkey flat, giving it extra crispy skin, easy to drain drippings, and results in a juicy turkey, every time!

Quick Turkey Stock

So why make Homemade Turkey Stock? By using Turkey Stock in recipes, you’re adding more, and more layers of turkey flavor, making your meal taste even more like Thanksgiving.  This is especially true when making Turkey Gravy. And, better yet, it’s easy to make, and it freezes really well.

You probably already have everything you need to make Turkey Stock in your fridge as you prep for the holidays; onion, garlic, carrot, celery and parsley. I like to use the “scraps” from prepping vegetables to make my stocks.  I save the ends of the onions, the parts of the carrot we cut off, the celery pieces with the leaves (because most people don’t like eating that on it’s own), and the stems of the parsley. It really couldn’t be simpler to make stock, and it’s very, very budget friendly!

leftover thanksgiving turkey noodle soup recipe homemade turkey broth stock recipe easy leftovers #foolproofthanksgiving

To make Turkey Stock, you just toss all of the ingredients in a large pot, add some salt and pepper, cover it by 3″ with water, and let it come to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and let the stock simmer about an hour.  If you’re pushing it on time, just keep the pot boiling, and cook for 30-40 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and let the stock cool down a little, then strain it in a fine mesh strainer, and put it in a tupperware container.  I actually like to strain my stock over a large measuring cup, and then pour it into a gallon or half gallon milk container.  It makes it easy to store, and even easier to pour and measure out when cooking meals.

Anddddddd… to make things even faster, you can make Turkey Stock in your Instant Pot, and have fresh, homemade stock in 15 minutes!  Just throw all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot, and fill it up to the max line with water, and cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes.  Let pressure naturally release, strain and use in recipes!

How To Make Perfect Turkey Gravy

So you have spent all day, or at least 90 minutes (if you Spatchocoked your turkey), roasting your turkey.  Now it’s time to make gravy.  The turkey fat that has dripped to the bottom of the roasting pan are the building blocks for gravy.

Once you pull the turkey out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes, and carefully move it to a cutting board.  Pour drippings into a fat separator.

A fat separator, like the name suggests, separates the fat from the drippings. It looks like a measuring cup with a long pouring spout. The best models have a lid with holes that act as a strainer. When you pour the drippings the holes, into the fat separator, the fat rises to the top of the liquid within a few minutes so the fat is higher than the pouring spout, and the drippings come out of the bottom of the container. When you tilt the fat separator to pour, the de-fatted liquid comes out, but not the fat.

No fat separator? No problem!  About 30 minutes before you plan on making gravy, throw a 4 cup liquid measuring cup in the freezer.  Once the drippings have cooled for 10 minutes, pour them into the freezing measuring cup, and place it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.  The fat will separate to the top, and you can use a small slotted spoon to remove and discard the fat, and just keep the drippings for your gravy.  It’s not perfect, but it works just fine.

The best piece of advice that I can give you to make gravy is to have patience!  It’s a labor of love.  Although super easy, and delicious

Follow these 5 easy steps to make the Perfect Gravy every time.

  1. Pour pan drippings into a fat separator and let sit 5 minutes, allowing the fat to separate from the drippings.
  2. Measure out up to two cups of drippings make up for the difference with the turkey stock.
  3. Place a medium heavy-bottomed pot, or the roasting pan right over the burner, and turn it on to low.  Add 6 tbsp to pan, and let it melt.  You can substitute some of the butter with turkey fat if you’d like, but I find butter makes a better, more smooth gravy.
  4. Once butter has melted, add 6 tbsp flour, and whisk it into the butter, scraping up any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan.  Let flour cook for 1 minute 30 seconds, allowing the flour to cook a little, so that it doesn’t taste like paste.
  5. Increase heat to medium-low, and 1/4 cup at a time, add drippings and stock to pan, while whisking.  Once combined, and smooth, reduce heat to low, and let simmer 2-3 minutes, whisking as needed.  The gravy should coat the back of a spoon.  At this point you can whisk in more stock to thin out the gravy, or let it simmer a little longer for a thicker gravy.

If you still have a couple lumps, just strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer before putting into your gravy boat!  Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be complicated.  You’ve got this!


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