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We tend to think of gravy as a last-minute holiday hassle, whisking like mad over a hot stove right before dinner is served. But there's absolutely no reason not to make it ahead of time using turkey parts. For extra flavor, tip any pan drippings from the freshly cooked bird into the reheated gravy.

EatingWell Magazine, November 2021


Credit: Johnny Autry

Recipe Summary

20 mins
3 hrs 30 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare stock: Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and place a rack on it.

  • Place turkey pieces on the rack. Roast until honey-brown, rotating the pan and flipping the pieces once halfway through, about 45 minutes.

  • Combine water, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, garlic, peppercorns and Worcestershire (or soy sauce or tamari) in a large pot. Add the turkey pieces. (Make sure to scrape any drippings and browned bits from the baking sheet into the pot as well.) Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling off the bones and the vegetables are soft, about 3 hours.

  • Strain the stock, discarding the solids. Measure out 4 cups of stock and freeze until the fat rises to the top, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, pour into a fat separator, then pour the defatted juices into a large measuring cup and save the fat.) Reserve the remaining stock for another use.

  • To prepare gravy: Measure the fat separated from the stock; if you don't have 1/4 cup, make up the difference with oil. Bring the 4 cups stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the 1/4 cup fat in another medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook until foaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the hot stock and bring to a boil, whisking. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To make ahead

Refrigerate stock (Steps 1-4) for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Refrigerate gravy (Step 5) for up to 3 days.


Silicone baking mat or parchment paper

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup gravy
71 calories; fat 5g; cholesterol 8mg; sodium 243mg; carbohydrates 4g; protein 3g; niacin equivalents 1mg; saturated fat 1g; vitamin a iu 347IU; potassium 57mg.

Analysis note: After straining, stock has negligible calories, nutrients and sodium.