Make-ahead turkey gravy is delicious and a huge time-saver whenever you are cooking a big turkey dinner. Time and flavor are the two biggest reasons to try this gravy, especially to go with a big Thanksgiving meal.
But when it comes to preparing make-ahead turkey gravy, there may be a few things you’re wondering about. So, here’s what I’ve found in my cooking experience that I’d like to share with you.
What kind of turkey parts make the best make ahead turkey gravy?
Honestly, since I’ve made make-ahead turkey gravy several times, I have a preference for turkey wings and legs.
Small packs of turkey parts can usually be found in grocery stores a few weeks before Thanksgiving. I’ve made this gravy with just legs and it came out excellent.
However, this one time, I waited too late and found only turkey thighs, which are still good but don’t seem to make as much fat.
So, my advice is if you want to do a make-ahead turkey gravy. Buy wings and legs as soon as you see them available at your local grocery store.
What to add to make ahead turkey gravy for more flavor?
- Green bell pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Olive Oil
How much drippings to flour for gravy is needed?
Use this ratio to make 1 cup of gravy.
- 1.5 tablespoons of fat
- 1.5 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup liquid (broth)
Ingredients for make-ahead turkey gravy
Turkey parts: 2 thighs, 6 wings, or 4 legs
1-TBS Olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1/4 green bell pepper, sliced
½ garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup water
2-14.5 oz. cans of chicken broth
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion seasonings.
All-purpose flour, or Wondra flour
Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Arrange turkey parts in a glass baking dish.
Drizzle olive oil over turkey parts.
Add onion and green pepper slices.
Sprinkle with seasonings.
Roast in the oven for a 30-minutes, then add the water, plus one can of broth, and scrape sides of the baking dish.
Continue roasting in the oven for 1 hour or until the turkey is golden brown.
Place browned turkey, broth with vegetables into a stockpot.
Add the second can of chicken broth and butter, then simmer on the stovetop on medium heat for about 15 minutes to get additional flavor from the turkey.
Next, strain the turkey and vegetables out of the stockpot.
Using a measuring cup, pour 2 cups of liquid into a large mixing bowl and whisk with 3 tablespoons of flour. Pour additional 2 cups of liquid in the bowl and whisk with 3 more tablespoons of flour.
Continue whisking gravy mixture until smooth and pour it back into the stockpot.
Once the gravy mixture is back in the stockpot, let it slowly simmer
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When the turkey gravy is done, cool and refrigerate it. Or, if you are making the gravy a week or two ahead of time, you can freeze it.
NOTE: The stockpot will have about a ½ cup liquid and fat left in it when you add the gravy mixture back into it and you can adjust thickness as it cooks. I like to leave it on the thinner side and cook it down to thicken it. Or if you prefer, use more flour.
I do want to say that make-ahead turkey gravy does take a bit of effort, but it’s worth it – especially on the day you are roasting your turkey and the gravy is already done.
With that said, on Thanksgiving when I’m cooking a large turkey and it makes more pan drippings, I will collect the drippings in a bowl, whisk them with a bit more flour and add them to the make-ahead turkey gravy stockpot. This extra step is optional but adds great flavor to the gravy.
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