Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

K and I are both cooking up a storm in our kitchens this weekend so we asked our mom to do a guest post on her traditional make-ahead turkey gravy recipe.  By completing this step ahead of time, it cuts down on a lot of the cooking time (and stress!) on Thanksgiving day.  Take it away mom!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

I love to get many of the sides for Thanksgiving dinner done ahead of time. There are so many tasks to complete towards the end  of the cooking session that this recipe is a great time saver and delicious, too!  Before I  found this recipe, roasting a turkey dinner and then making gravy was a dreaded event. After nearly four decades of cooking for my husband and family, I have resolved that part of my holiday stress.

On a calm day in early November, this  recipe comes together easily – don’t let all the steps scare you. Most of the time is spent smelling the awesome vegetable -turkey broth simmering on the stove.  Easy enough to place in a couple quart mason jars, and freeze up to 1 month. Then, take out two days before Thanksgiving, put in refrigerator to thaw. The final steps of reheating can easily be delegated to a willing guest or one of my four daughters in my case!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Makes 6-7 cups Planning tip: Freeze up to 1 month then refrigerate 2 days to thaw. Reheat in saucepan, whisking to combine.Turkey drippings from roast pan can be added at that time.
  • 4 turkey wings ( 3-4 lbs)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 8 cups chicken broth ( RESERVE 2 CUPS)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or water
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put wings in a single layer in a roasting pan. Scatter the onions on top. Roast 1 and ¼ hours or until wings are nicely browned.
  2. Put roasted wings and onions in a 5- to 6-qt. pot. Add 1 cup of the broth to the roasting pan and scrape any of the brown bits from the bottom. Add this back to pot with 5 more cups chicken broth,( Keep the remaining 2 cups broth in the frig until later), carrots, garlic and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered 1 and ¼ hours.
  3. Remove wings from broth. Optional: When cool, pull off skin and can save meat for another use. Otherwise discard.
  4. Strain broth through fine mesh strainer, pressing vegetables to extract as much broth as possible. Discard vegetables. Skim fat off broth ( easy way to do this if time permits, refrigerate overnight and remove any solidified fat.)
  5. Whisk the flour into the reserved chicken broth until well blended and smooth.
  6. Bring strained broth to a gentle boil. Whisk in flour mixture. Whisk until thickened and boiling. Boil 3-4 minutes to cook out any flour taste. Stir in butter , season to taste.
  7. On Thanksgiving, after the turkey is removed from the roasting pan, you can spoon the fat off the drippings and add 1-2 cups of the drippings to the gravy as it is being reheated.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

-2S2C Mom

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  • Keelin

    Thanks for posting Mom! Hope you and dad enjoy your pre-thanksgiving turkey dinner! We are having a chicken dinner tonight with thanksgiving side over here!
    Love, K