Savory Herb Turkey Gravy is the absolute best homemade turkey gravy from turkey drippings that you can serve with your Thanksgiving dinner.
This simple recipe starts by making a homemade turkey stock from the giblets which easily gets transformed into the best tasting gravy you can make. There isn't anything better that you can smother your Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes or cornbread dressing with!
TURKEY GRAVY RECIPE
Savory Herb Turkey Gravy is an absolute must for your Thanksgiving dinner table, especially if you're going through all of the time and effort to roast a turkey.
There are a lot of turkey gravy recipes out there, but I promise you this is the best method. If you wanted to know how to make gravy from turkey drippings, I've got all the info you need to know right here.
Truth be told, turkey giblet gravy grossed me out when I was a kid. I used to watch my grandma cook the turkey neck and giblets and it nearly made me lose my appetite.
As an adult, I would pull the giblets out of the turkey and throw them straight into the garbage. But once I realized the amount of incredible flavor the giblets and turkey drippings add to the homemade turkey gravy - I was hooked.
When you buy a whole turkey, most often you will find a package inside the cavity of the bird that contains the neck and some of the vital organs.
These organs can include the gizzard which is a muscle that grinds up food before it enters the digestive system (sort of a pre-stomach), the heart, the liver, and the kidneys. Your first instinct might be to pull them out of the turkey and throw them in the trash. Please don't!
I'll go into more detail below, but what you want to do is sear these turkey parts to build flavor. When the neck and giblets hit a scorching hot pan, the surface instantly begins to caramelize, and this creates a deep, savory flavor once they simmer in the broth and drippings.
How to make turkey gravy:
This giblet gravy recipe starts by making the best turkey stock.
- I prefer to use a large stockpot or heavy bottom dutch oven. You'll want to heat some olive oil over medium high heat, and once it's pretty screaming hot, you'll add your turkey neck and giblets. You can choose to omit the turkey liver as some would argue it adds a more bitter flavor, but I've always used it in my homemade turkey gravy.
- Once you give the giblets and neck a nice browned outside, you'll add some onion, carrot, celery, and garlic - basically all of the good components to an amazing stock. Allow these to brown too so they can absorb all that flavor from the giblets.
- Deglaze with white wine. No explanation needed here other than you'd be crazy not to.
- Now, you're finally ready to cover with water, throw in your peppercorns, bay leaves, and tons of fresh herbs, and make the most amazing turkey stock you'll ever enjoy.
I recommend allowing this to simmer for at least an hour, but we all know that they longer, the better. The secret to an outstanding tasting turkey gravy is the broth.
Turkey gravy with drippings:
- Once the stock is done, you'll strain the liquid away from the solids. I wait to do this until the turkey is just about done for two reasons: First, I want my stock to cook for the longest amount of time. Second, when you make your homemade turkey gravy, you'll be combining the stock with the turkey drippings from the roasting pan.
- Now you have a decision to make. Do you discard the cooked giblet solids? Or do you discard them? My grandma used to cut them up and add them back to the gravy after she nibbled on a few. I discard them, but someday I'll work myself up to adding them back in. What you do is up to you and your personal preference!
- Next up is the roux. Its simple. the secret to a good roux is to have equal parts fat and flour and to let it cook until the mixture smells heavenly - like a cooked pie crust. Ladle in the stock mixed with the turkey drippings, whisking to combine with each addition.
I can tell you this - this savory herb turkey gravy recipe is the best gravy you'll ever make!
How do you separate turkey fat from drippings?
Turkey drippings are basically the melted fat from the turkey that dripped down to the bottom of the roasting pan. They add fantastic flavor to your homemade turkey stock and ultimately the gravy.
The turkey fat is the drippings. They are one in the same.
Since you make the turkey stock with the giblets that basically don't have any fat on them, your broth won't contain any turkey fat.
Can you use turkey gravy on chicken?
Yes! This doesn't have to be a Thanksgiving-only recipe.
When you make your homemade stock using the giblets, you don't have to use all of it for one meal.
You can use however much you need to make gravy for your turkey dinner and then freeze the remaining turkey stock to make gravy in the future.
Turkey gravy tastes great with chicken dinners, especially when you're using homemade stock.
Savory Herb Turkey Gravy
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Reserved turkey neck and giblets
- 1 yellow onion (peeled and quartered)
- 1 carrot (peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 celery stalk (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups water
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 large handful fresh herb sprigs (parsley, rosemary, thyme marjoram (see note below))
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups turkey stock (see notes)
- Reserved turkey drippings ((see recipe notes))
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (amount may vary, see recipe notes)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (amount may vary, see recipe notes)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
To make the turkey stock on the stove:
- Heat oil in large stockpot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add turkey neck and giblets. Allow to cook a few minutes undisturbed to get nice and brown. Use tongs to flip and brown other side.
- Add onion quarters, carrot, celery, and garlic. Allow to brown, stirring only occasionally, to brown all sides evenly. Add wine to pot and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Allow wine to boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add water, peppercorns, herbs, and bay leaf to pot. Do not cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for at least one hour. The longer you cook the stock, the better it will taste.
- Strain liquid into a container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
How to make the turkey stock in the Instant Pot:
- Heat oil in Instant Pot on saute mode. Add turkey neck and giblets. Allow to cook a few minutes undisturbed to get nice and brown. Use tongs to flip and brown other side.
- Add onion quarters, carrot, celery, and garlic. Allow to brown, stirring only occasionally, to brown all sides evenly. Add wine to pot and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Allow wine to boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add water, peppercorns, herbs, and bay leaf to pot. Lock cover. Cook on high pressure for one hour. Quick release pressure.
- Strain liquid into a container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the turkey gravy:
- Combine remaining drippings from the cooked turkey with the broth you cooked earlier.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook until mixture is golden brown and smells wonderful.
- Add a ladle of your broth mixture and whisk until you have a thick paste and there are no lumps. Add another ladle and whisk again until smooth. Continue adding liquid and whisking until everything is combined and smooth.
- Reduce heat to low and continue to cook if gravy needs thickening. Add salt and pepper, as desired. Amount of salt depends on how much of the turkey drippings you use, so be sure to taste. Transfer to gravy boat and serve hot.
- You will get more turkey stock if you use the Instant Pot method versus the stove top because of evaporation. Stove top Recipe Yields 3-4 cups. Instant Pot recipe yields about 6 cups.
- You may choose to include the turkey liver with your other giblets or discard. Some people think it adds a bitter flavor. I use it.
- After you strain out the liquid from the turkey stock, discard all solids except any meat from the neck you'd like to pick off. You can chop up the other giblets real small if you like that stuff too (I'm not quite at that point in my life yet).
- Amount of drippings you use is up to you. You may extract them out of the roasting pan using a temperature safe baster or you can remove the turkey to let it rest and allow the drippings to pour out.
- When you make the gravy, you want to use about 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour for every cup of turkey stock. Therefore, the amount of roux you make will depend on how much stock you have.
- Herbs for turkey stock: one handful total and roughly equal amounts of each herb is what I use. You can use dried herbs, but I would use half the amount and would put them in some kind of sachet or tied cheesecloth so you can remove them later, otherwise they would be over powering.
This recipe was originally created in November 2014 and was most recently updated in September 2019.
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Our Thanksgiving dinner always consists of this turkey giblet gravy along with some