Turkey Gravy is probably my favorite gravy to eat. I love gravy. I always have. And I’ve always preferred meats with gravy. I’m not sure why I like Turkey Gravy better than the gravy I make for Fried Chicken or Roast Beef, but I do. Even still, I love gravy. That’s probably because my mom always served Beef Roast with Gravy, Country Fried Steak with Gravy, Pork Roast and Sauerkraut with Gravy, Meatloaf with Gravy, Pork Chops with Gravy, Fried Chicken with Gravy and, of course, Turkey and Dressing with Gravy. My dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he always wanted gravy to smother all of his meat.
I don’t make gravy as often as I used to since I try to watch the calories now, but I still love gravy, and it’s really hard to eat turkey without it! I’ve improvised the way my mom used to make it. Some times I season gravies with garlic powder and parsley as well as with salt and pepper. But the basic way my mom made gravy is shown here. If you’ve never made gravy before it’s really not all that difficult. The same fundamentals in making turkey gravy can be used to make any other kind.
When I initially posted this recipe in November 2012, I was still using an iPhone 3 for a camera. The pictures were blurry and grainy. 🙁 I haven’t made turkey in the three years since I posted this recipe, until this year. My son actually baked a turkey (and ham) for Thanksgiving and we had dinner with him for that occasion. But for Christmas 2015, I made a turkey again with all our family favorites: Bridled Noodles, Mom’s Turkey Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Berry Mallow Yam Bake, Old-Fashioned Green Beans and Honey-Glazed Carrots and, of course, Turkey Gravy. Most of these recipes have been in our family for over 75-100 years or more. Even the two “newer” recipes are almost 40 years old. 🙂 Yes, they are family favorites and the traditional side dishes we make to go along with turkey. This time I took a few new pictures of how I make Turkey Gravy, but I’ve added additional instructions to help make the process easier.
HOW TO MAKE TURKEY GRAVY:
Here are a few key things to help you make a great Turkey Gravy.
1) I use all the drippings from the turkey to start with. This is what will be in the bottom of the pan (or cooking bag) once you take the turkey out of the oven. That can be up to a quart of drippings. Pour it all into a large Dutch oven and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
2) Add a flour/water paste mixture. I can’t give you exact amounts, but I can give you guidelines. For this amount of gravy I made two batches. I started with about 3/4 to a cup of flour and added water and whisked the mixture until it became thin and pourable and no more lumps remained from the flour. You can use gluten free flour if you desire. Both work fine.
3) After adding one batch of the flour mixture, I season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley to taste. I just keep shaking salt and pepper until I get it the way I want it. I add at least a half teaspoon of garlic powder and a tablespoon of parsley. Again, I taste it to see if it needs more. Then I add about 5 drops of Kitchen Bouquet seasoning.
4) Once all the seasonings are added, add about a pint of either Turkey Giblet Broth you have cooked off earlier or reserved potato water from boiling potatoes in order to serve Mashed Potatoes. Either work fine and both make the gravy extra rich. I used reserved potato water for these pictures.
5) Now your gravy is going to be thin again after adding the potato water or broth. I made up another batch of flour/water with about the same amounts as before and whisked until no lumps remained. This is important if you don’t want lumpy gravy. Add the flour mixture slowly to the boiling gravy. Whisk in as much as you need to get the gravy to the thickness you like it. Boil a couple more minutes so the starch cooks out and then you’re ready to go.
6) Don’t be as concerned with amounts as texture and taste. If you don’t need your gravy thickened as much, back off the flour paste mixture. If you need more seasoning, keep adding and tasting until you get it the way you like it. Because you won’t have exact amounts of drippings or exact amounts of potato water or broth, you just add ingredients based on the amount you have. If you cook off a turkey and you only get a cup of drippings you won’t need to add near as much flour/seasonings/or potato water. You will also only get a very small turkey boat of gravy and nothing more.
7) Use these directions as a guide. Don’t be a slave to the amounts. Use common sense and taste it frequently to get the texture and taste you want. One caution: it’s always easier to add a little more than to take it out. But if you do end up with gravy that’s too thick, simply add more broth, potato water or very hot water if that’s all you have on hand. Thin it out to the consistency you need.
My Mom’s Turkey Gravy is the BEST!
We enjoy Turkey Gravy served over Bridled Noodles.
We also love it with Mom’s Turkey Dressing.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients plus about a quart of drippings from our turkey. I made up two batches of the flour/water mixture in the bowl with the whisk.
We use oven cooking bags to cook our Thanksgiving turkey each year. After the turkey cooks down there’s a lot of rich broth in the bag. Puncture the cooking bag and empty out the contents of the turkey broth into a large roaster pan.
Or if you cook your turkey another way there should be a lot of drippings in the pan. Don’t throw them out, that’s your base for the gravy.
There will be a lot of broth from the turkey–between a quart and half gallon or so. Bring turkey drippings to a boil over medium heat. You may have to skim off some of the oil first. It will rise to the top. You may get a half cup to a cup of oil to skim off the top. (I didn’t have to do this for this one).
Start by adding the flour/water mixture to the boiling turkey drippings. Add it slowly and whisk in well. Make sure you whisk the flour mixture so there are no lumps in it at all.
Here I added the seasonings, several drops of Kitchen Bouquet seasoning and about a pint of potato water to the gravy. If you don’t have potato water or turkey giblet broth (from cooking off the turkey neck and organs), then use very hot water. Add another batch of flour/water mixture to thicken up the mixture again. (This makes over a half gallon of turkey gravy.)
Bring to a boil and continue boiling a couple of minutes until the starch from the flour cooks out. Check seasonings and add more to taste, if desired.
While you can add very hot tap water to the gravy, I use either some of the giblet broth I have saved from cooking off the neck and organs or potato water I have used to boil potatoes for making Mashed Potatoes. I use the giblet broth/potato water to thin the turkey broth otherwise it is almost too rich since it has a high content of oil.
Turkey Gravy is ready to serve!
Here’s the recipe.
(Recipe adapted from my mom, Helen Mattis, Titusville, FL)
- All the drippings from the roaster pan the turkey is cooked in (usually about a quart)
- 1-2 cups flour
- about one pint turkey giblet broth or potato water reserved from boiling potatoes
- 5-6 drops Kitchen Bouquet seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or to taste
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley if desired, and to taste
- Pour turkey drippings from roaster into a large Dutch oven or stock pot.
- Skim the oil off the top of the drippings from turkey.
- It may be a half cup to a cup of oil you have to skim off the top of the broth.
- Bring drippings to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.
- Stir in a cup or two of giblet turkey broth or reserved potato water.
- Add salt, pepper, several drops of Kitchen Bouquet seasoning, and garlic powder and parsley, if desired.
- Start with a cup of flour.
- Whisk in small amounts of water until you get a thin smooth paste.
- Make sure you whisk out ALL of the lumps from the flour.
- After turkey drippings come to a rolling boil, slowly stir in flour/water paste mixture.
- Don’t add it too fast or you will end up with lumpy gravy.
- Add all the paste mixture and boil a few minutes.
- If the broth remains thin, repeat the process again making another flour/water paste mixture and adding slowly to drippings.
- Continue whisking the flour mixture into the turkey broth and whisk while gravy thickens.
- Check seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve gravy over turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes, as desired.
Serve Turkey Gravy over top of Bridled Noodles.
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