The only thing better than a properly cooked Thanksgiving turkey is the gravy that should be served with it! Here’s how to make a flavorful and easy-to-make turkey gravy from your pan drippings.
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Good turkey gravy should not only keep everything moist on your plate, but it should also help to season your meat and accompany its base flavor.
It should be thick, cling to the meat, and leave every single mouthful feeling somehow complete. It needs to be fatty, but not so much that the fat sticks to your mouth. Plus, it should have the same overall flavor profile that your turkey has so that everything feels part of the same dish and has a unified flavor.
As long as use the natural pan drippings that came from making your own turkey and you season it really well, you should have no problem getting a deliciously rich and tasty gravy.
Turkey Gravy Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Pan drippings from cooking your turkey
• Unsalted butter
• All-purpose flour
• Salt & pepper
• Cornstarch slurry to thicken if needed
How To Make Turkey Gravy
• Strain the drippings through a fine-mesh sieve and let them sit until the fat rises to the top
• Scoop off any excess fat, adding chicken, turkey broth, or water to top up the drippings to 4 cups total
• Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
• Sprinkle in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until it browns lightly and begins to smell toasted, like pie crust
• Slowly pour in the pan drippings, whisking continuously
• Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, constantly whisking, until thickened
• If needed, thicken with a cornstarch slurry to desired thickness
• Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm
How To Get Your Turkey Gravy Properly Thick
Proper, traditional gravy should not only be richly and intensely flavored, but it should also be nicely thick as well.
This thickness is generally achieved by either using a roux or a cornstarch slurry.
The roux method works by cooking flour in the fat from the pan drippings until it browns gently, which gelatinizes the starches in the flour and allows them to bind more easily to the fat molecules in the gravy. Once mixed with liquid and heated through, it should tighten and thicken the whole gravy.
Using a cornstarch slurry is a similar method, only you do not need to cook it first. It thickens all on its own, gelatinizing as long as you use enough of it.
The best method is probably the roux that this recipe calls for, as the cooked flour adds its own dimension of flavor. In fact, different levels of cooked roux are half the flavor in Creole cooking!
However, if you find that the gravy just isn’t thickened enough for your tastes, feel free to make a cornstarch slurry to help thicken it up to your liking.
How To Properly Season Your Turkey Gravy
The thing about gravy is that it not only is delicious in its own right (and anyone that has ever drunk straight from the gravy bowl will understand), but it is also designed to help season the meat on your plate.
No matter how well you season your turkey before cooking, it is basically impossible to get every single little bit of the meat inside the turkey to be properly seasoned, especially for bigger, heavier turkeys.
Gravy thus helps to season the meat slices on your plate, ensuring every bite is as flavorful as the last.
This means that your gravy should be just a little bit too salty, but not so much that it is unappealing. You should feel like it is maybe just a tad too salty, and then it will be perfect; remember, the meat you are pouring it over will probably taste under-seasoned on its own, so combining them will help to balance it all out.
Looking for more delicious Turkey recipes? Try these out:
Enjoy! The gravy is my favorite part of a roast turkey dinner, not gonna lie!
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- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- 4 cups
- Karlynn Johnston
- 4 cups pan drippings from my Easy Thanksgiving Turkey
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- cornstarch slurry to thicken if needed
- Strain the drippings through a fine-mesh sieve. Let them sit until the fat rises to the top, then scoop off any excess fat than you can. If needed, add chicken,turkey broth or water to top up the drippings to 4 cups.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until it browns lightly and begins to smell toasted, around 3-4 minutes. You need to brown the flour for the best taste!
- Slowly pour in the pan drippings, whisking continuously.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
- If needed, thicken with a cornstarch slurry to desired thickness.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve warm.
- Depending on your drippings, you might have to use the cornstarch slurry to thicken. Do not add more flour, as it needs to be toasted to have that rich flavor in the gravy.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.