Nov 24
2011

How to: Make Turkey Gravy…Revisited

How-to-Make-Turkey-Gravy-Tutorial-Recipe-Cookin-Canuck

Last year at this time, I published a “how to” on making gravy. After hearing from so many people about their previous gravy flops and how the tutorial calmed their nerves when the time came to whisk those turkey drippings into rich, silky Thanksgiving perfection, I figured it was worth publishing my recipe and troubleshooting tips again this year.

This recipe does not involve adding wine or herbs, though those things can provide very satisfying results, too. Rather, this version is as basic as turkey gravy recipe can get. And you know what? It works every time. Be sure to scroll down beyond the recipe for some troubleshooting tips, just in case you run into problems. Is your gravy too thick? Too thin? Too salty? I listed solutions for all of those problems, plus a few more. Now, get out there and grab that proverbial bull by the horns…or turkey by the wattle. Whatever floats your Mayflower.

I hope that each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are surrounded by family, friends and gratitude.

The recipe:
Pour the turkey drippings into a large measuring cup. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then spoon off the fat. If you have one of those liquid measures made for this purpose, then this process will be even easier.

Add enough turkey or chicken broth to the drippings to total about 4 cups of liquid in all.

TurkeyGravy1

Set the roasting pan, lovely brown bits included, over top burners that are set on medium heat. Add butter and melt, scraping up the browned turkey bits with a wooden spoon.

Add flour and, using a whisk, stir until this mixture (called a roux) reaches a dark brown color, 4 to 5 minutes.

Turkey Gravy Collage 2

Whisking constantly, slowly add the broth mixture to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat slightly so that the mixture is simmering. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is thick and smooth, about 15 minutes.

Turkey Gravy Collage

Lower heat and keep warm, whisking occasionally to stop a skin from forming, until ready to serve.

TurkeyGravyLS

Gravy troubleshooting:

Problem: The gravy is too thin.
Solution: Continue simmering. If the gravy still does not thicken, add a slurry. A slurry is made by completely dissolving flour or cornstarch in cold water. Whisk the slurry into the gravy, a little bit at a time, until the gravy thickens.

Problem: The gravy is too thick.
Solution: Whisk in additional turkey or chicken broth.

Problem: The gravy is too salty.
Solution: Whisk in some water to dilute the salt concentration. Alternatively, add a few thick slices of raw potato and simmer until the potato is soft. It will absorb the salt. Remove the potato before serving.

Problem: The gravy is lumpy.
Solution: Continue to simmer the gravy, whisking constantly, until the gravy is smooth. If the gravy still has lumps, pass it through a fine mesh strainer or process with an immersion blender.

Problem: A skin formed on top of the gravy.
Solution: Skim off the skin and bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking constantly.

How to: Make Turkey Gravy

Yield: Makes about 3 cups gravy.

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups (approximately) turkey or low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp (approximately) unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste (only if necessary)

Instructions

  1. Pour the turkey drippings into a large measuring cup. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then spoon off the fat and discard. If you have one of those liquid measures made for this purpose, then this process will be even easier.
  2. Add enough chicken broth to the drippings to total about 4 cups of liquid in all.
  3. Set the roasting pan, lovely brown bits included, over top burners that are set on medium heat.
  4. Add butter and melt, scraping up the browned turkey bits with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add flour and, using a whisk, stir until this mixture (called a roux) reaches a dark brown color, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Whisking constantly, slowly add the broth mixture to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat slightly so that the mixture is simmering.
  7. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is thick and smooth, about 15 minutes. Lower heat and keep warm, whisking occasionally to stop a skin from forming, until ready to serve.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bellini November 24, 2011 at 6:34 am

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!

Reply

2 KalynsKitchen November 24, 2011 at 7:18 am

Great tips for making gravy (and I am coveting that fat separator with the built-in strainer!) Hope you guys are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hugs to the entire family!

Reply

3 marla November 24, 2011 at 7:50 am

FABULOUS!! I need all the help I can get on this last minute stuff. All I have left to do is the turkey & the gravy…I will be using your recipes & tips for these.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you family!! xo

Reply

4 Kathy - Panini Happy November 24, 2011 at 9:07 am

THANK YOU! Gravy is the one thanksgiving dish whose successful creation has eluded me every year. I’m determined to get it right! I actually have the same gravy separator…but I can’t figure out how it’s supposed to work (I should know this, right?). Help, Dara!

Reply

5 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hi Kathy. Okay, pour all of your drippings through the strainer on the top. Let it rest for about 15 minutes or so to allow the good drippings separate from the fat. When you’re ready for them, start pouring. Because the spout starts from the bottom, the good drippings will pour out first. Stop pouring when you see that the good drippings are out and the fat is about to enter the spout. Discard the fat. That’s it! You can do it, Kathy!

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6 Kathy - Panini Happy November 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

Terrific! I will do just that. Thank you so much for clearing up that mystery (I nearly threw the thing away last year in frustration, lol). Have a terrific Thanksgiving!

Reply

7 Kathy - Panini Happy November 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Just wanted to report back that it worked! My very first successful gravy, thanks to you. :-)

Reply

8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

Way to go, Kathy! I’m so glad it turned out.

Reply

9 adventuresindinner November 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Love this post, hope that you will come and share it over at my Pin’Inspiration party today. So apprepo!

Reply

10 Frank November 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I’ve never understood why people got so antsy about gravy. It’s so easy to make. But it’s nice to know there are helpful folk like you out there to calm those nervous souls!

Reply

11 Christine October 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

My SIL is gluten free can I substitute corn starch for flour?

Reply

12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

Absolutely! Corn starch will work well.

Reply

13 judy November 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

In the beginning of the recipe, you said reserve 3 T of the fat but I never saw where that fat was used in the following recipe. Please clarify.
Thanks,
Judy

Reply

14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Judy, I’m sorry about the confusion. That sentence should not be in there (and is now removed). Discard all of the fat scooped off of the top of the drippings.

Reply

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