Make Ahead

miss p's stress free turkey gravy

November  4, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves enough gravy for Thanksgiving & Christmas for at least 10 people
Author Notes

This is a version of my mum's recipe which she has always used each year for Thanksgiving (once we moved to the States!) and Christmas. It is such a fantastic recipe because you actually can make the bulk of it weeks ahead and freeze it, then just defrost and finish quickly the day of. Mum would always make enough for both holidays at once and defrost each separately to save herself some time on the actual day. This way she didn't have to start into making a roux while trying to get the turkey on the table for our guests and instead just quickly deglazed the pan with a bit of sherry (this gives such an incredible flavor), added in the defrosted 'almost perfect gravy' to heat up and was good to go! - saltandpeppersf —saltandpeppersf

Test Kitchen Notes

The essence of this recipe is to make a full-flavored turkey stock and gravy days prior to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, the gravy is enhanced with brown bits and pan drippings from the turkey and dry sherry that is used to deglaze the pan. The result is a rich and delicious gravy with great depth of flavor. The technique for making the stock was unique, in that it was cooked on a low temperature (300°F) in the oven for 3 hours, rather on the stove top. It’s a great time-saver as you don't have to tend to it. The stock was very flavorful. Adding it to a roux made a delicious gravy. Enhancing it with with turkey pan drippings that are deglazed with dry sherry made it sublime. I couldn't stop licking the spoon and can't wait for Thanksgiving! - Chezzy Belle —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Before Thanksgiving & Christmas
  • 4 pounds turkey wings, thighs, drumsticks, etc
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 big handful parsley (w/ stems)
  • 1 big handful thyme (w/ stems)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • The Big Day
  • 3 - 4 ounces Dry Sherry (I like Lustau, but just pick a decent one at your local grocery)
  • turkey drippings
  1. Before Thanksgiving & Christmas
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and fill a huge ovenproof pot (like a dutch oven) with 5 or so quarts of water.
  3. Throw in all your turkey parts, the celery and carrots (halved), the onions (quartered, skin on), parsley, thyme, salt & pepper.
  4. Put entire pot into oven and cook for 3 hours until your stock turns a lovely dark brown color. This is nice because you can put it in and then forget about it if you put on your oven timer.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then strain through a sieve. Let cool to room temperature and skim off any fat from the top. Just know that it should be jelly-like at this point and the fat will be a much whiter color and firmer consistency. My mum had a friend who started skimming away the jelly, not knowing that this was actually the stock!
  6. In another large pot make your roux. Melt the butter over a low heat and add in the flour. Stir to combine and then cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly, until dark brown in color.
  7. Slowly add in your stock and whisk to combine. Keep whisking to remove any lumps. Continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken to a gravy-like consistency.
  8. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool put into freezer-proof containers and freeze. Remove from freezer the day before you need it, and let defrost in refrigerator.
  1. The Big Day
  2. Take the defrosted 'almost perfect gravy' out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Remove turkey from pan and set aside with foil covering it to rest.
  4. Place turkey roasting pan with remaining drippings on top of stove over medium heat. Pour in approximately 3 - 4 ounces of a good dry sherry and deglaze the pan by using a wooden spoon to scrape all the delicious brown turkey bits that have stuck to the pan.
  5. Add your room temperature 'almost perfect gravy' to the pan, stir to combine, then bring to a boil.
  6. You are ready to serve - enjoy!
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  • abbyarnold
  • gingerroot
  • melissav
  • dymnyno

4 Reviews

abbyarnold November 23, 2012
I made this on Wednesday to go with my Thanksgiving turkey breast. I used the bones of a couple of roasted chickens that I had in the freezer, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I needed a little more roux because there wasn't enough of the jelly to make a good thick gravy, but the browning of the roux gave it great flavor and the gravy was a big hit with my gravy-loving family. Thank you for taking one of the more stressful items off the Thanksgiving list!
gingerroot November 5, 2010
I especially like the stress free element of this delicious sounding gravy!
melissav November 4, 2010
Sounds great!
dymnyno November 4, 2010
Sounds like the real deal!!! We all love this kind of gravy!!