10 November 2016

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com

Making the turkey gravy ahead of time is something I've been doing for decades. Once you try it, you'll never go back to doing the last-minute rush ever again. 

You know what I'm talking about. The potatoes are mashed at the last minute, the dinner rolls are heated at the last minute, so many things to see to. By the time you sit down at the table, you're red-faced, frizzy-haired, overheated and generally just done for! 

I would suggest setting aside a day to do this right away. Get it done well in advance. You'll have enough broth for stuffing/dressing as well as gravy. Just freeze both until a day or two before you need them. If you make it just three days ahead, just refrigerate it. 

(You can make the Cranberry Sauce two days ahead. Try it! You'll never go back to canned!)

Though it's made with just 2 pounds of turkey, the gravy tastes wonderful. But, if you want added flavor or want to increase the amount of gravy, when you take your turkey out of the pan on the big day, combine the pan drippings (minus the fat) and make-ahead gravy for added oomph.

On the matter of broth: I'm a huge fan of store-bought organic free-range low-sodium chicken broth, but NOT for anything to do with a turkey dinner. You MUST make turkey broth, whether this way or with the neck, etc, on the day you roast the turkey. You know I don't like to be dogmatic, but chicken broth is no substitute!

Do you like to make things ahead or do it all on the day?


Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com


Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy


(Makes about 4 cups)

The Turkey


2 turkey drumsticks* (about 2 pounds/0.91 kg total)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dry sherry plus enough water to make 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml)


* Other parts might work, too, but I've only ever used drumsticks as they are more readily available where I shop.

The Broth


1 medium onion, peeled and halved
2 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
4 medium celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
Handful of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 1/2 quarts (80 fluid ounces/2.36 litres) water

The Gravy


1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) of The Broth

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Lightly oil a heavy-duty quarter sheet pan. Pat the drumsticks dry and place them in the prepared pan. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 60 to 70 minutes. Sixty minutes would probably be enough, but I like to get maximum brown bits in the roasting pan. Just be sure you don't let it burn. Burned bits are not good!

2 Transfer the drumsticks to a 5-quart pot (I use a Le Creuset 5.5-quart round French oven); set aside for the moment.

3 Place the roasting pan on the stove and pour in the liquid a little at a time, stirring and scraping up the browned bits. When pan is completely deglazed, pour the liquid into a jar, bowl or 1-cup glass measure; refrigerate. You'll see from the photo that I ended up with about 1/4 cup of fat, which is perfect!



Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com


4 Add vegetables and seasonings to the pot, along with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid slightly ajar for 4 hours, checking liquid level after second and third hours and adding more water only if needed.



Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth / www.delightfulrepast.com


5 Strain the broth into a 2-quart glass measure. You will have 6 to 8 cups of broth.

6 Transfer your refrigerated pan drippings to a 2-quart saucepan and begin heating. Add flour to pan drippings and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

7 Add about 1/2 cup of the stock and whisk briskly until very smooth, then add remaining broth. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, until the gravy thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

8 Leave the gravy as is or strain into a 4-cup glass measure. Pour it into a 6-cup glass freezer container. Let cool a bit at room temperature, refrigerate until cold, then freeze until the day before you want to serve it.

9 The day before you want to use it, transfer the gravy from freezer to refrigerator. Reheat the thawed gravy.


Disclosure: Some posts contain links to my affiliate account at Amazon. If you purchase something from Amazon through one of my links, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use toward the expenses of running this blog. Thanks for supporting Delightful Repast when you shop at Amazon!

82 comments:

Pom Pom said...

Thank you! I'm away from home for a few days but when we get home I'm going to try this!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thank you! Do let me know how it goes. And enjoy your days away!

Laura Lane said...

Hey Jean! Here's my reply to your comment at my blog.
So glad you dropped by Harvest Lane Cottage. I'm just getting ready to read your Make Ahead Gravy post. Such a great idea. Gravy making is always the part that makes me nervous—not because it's difficult, but because everything else is usually waiting on me finishing the gravy!
Be blessed, and do come back and visit me again!
Laura
http://www.delightfulrepast.com/2016/11/make-ahead-turkey-gravy-and-broth.html

After reading your article, I think it's brilliant!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/257690409909007143/

God bless you!
Happy Thanksgiving,
Laura

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Laura, thank you so much. Right -- there's nothing difficult about gravy, it's just the last-minute-ness of it all!

Angie Schneider said...

Good thing that I just have to cook for my husband and he is not fancy for turkey at all...too complicated to cook for a large group of people. But I for sure would love to try that broth!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, my father was not a fan of turkey or any poultry, but he would eat it once a year! :-) I especially love all its "go-withs" -- mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing/dressing.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

“A cannibal is someone who loves his fellow man…with gravy.” Yup, that’s all I got. Gravy is one of those tastebud neutral foods that I completely ignore. Mud soup. No zing. Right in there with the category of potatoes, melons, rutabaga, squash, asparagus etc., etc. Was a time when I followed the leader and made a little pond in mashed potatoes with the back of a spoon, filled it with oily looking gravy, and added butter to make it palatable. Then I turned 10 and the world became technicolor to my taste buds. Sweetness and tang play large – I admit it. But I do like slightly cloying exotic stuff if it isn’t dishwater bland and slushy, like, like…rice pudding. Peace, gravy-eaters…you have gravitas. I mean gravy-toss.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, all I have to say to that -- and you're entitled to your opinion -- is that there is more bad gravy "out there" than there is good, and you've probably never had good gravy. If you had grown up eating my mother's and grandmothers' gravy, you would be a gravy lover, I'm sure. I learned at a young age to not put a gallon of gravy on my plate when dining away from home until I'd tasted it to see if it was good. You might say "gravy is gravy," but I'm here to tell you that isn't true!

Cheryl said...

The first time I tried making gravy with directions from my grandpa, I had to chisel it out of the pan. Since then, I have used Pacific Organic Turkey Gravy as I actually liked it. My tastes tend to run to bland or one note due to digestive issues. I might just give this recipe a try!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks! Too funny, Cheryl! I wouldn't dare use a store-bought gravy, even if it was great -- with my gravy "history," it just wouldn't fly! Here's a little gravy story about my great grandmother: http://www.delightfulrepast.com/2010/04/cream-gravy-southern-classic.html.

Jeanie said...

This looks like a way-way brilliant idea. Gravy is not my strong suit and I often have "Plan B"(just in case) but ever since Rick came along he is the gravy king. This sounds way too good though. I may need to pass this on (or hold it in check and dazzle him!)

Tony Grant said...

I can make gravy. There are ways and means. That's it, Jean and I am very sorry about your new President.

Tony Grant said...

Just a thought, Jean, I have reread some of your description above. You mention, mashed potatoes with your Turkey. We place a few par boiled potatoes in with the turkey when its almost fully roasted,baste the potatoes with the hot Turkey fat and roast the potatoes alongside the turkey. Probably Christmas Day is one of the few days we might not do mashed potatoes. Different cultures different traditions I suppose.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie. I love your idea of "holding it in check and dazzling him!" Let me know how it goes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, as much as I love roasted potatoes, I'd want to have roasted potatoes AND mashed potatoes. Because I don't hold with any traditions when it comes to mashed potatoes. That's my favorite food, and I'd have it with everything, even dessert! :-)

J. Mackinnon said...

This looks super yummmy! Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, J. It IS good, can't wait to have it!

Joanne Young said...

Wonderful Jean! I have already printed it out, and will be making the gravy next week. I LOVE not feeling stressed about getting gravy made, as all the guests wait!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Joanne! I think making it ahead really helps the cook's stress level when there are sooooo many things to do! Hope you like it.

Margie said...

I'm definitely all about the advance planning. I hope that you get your tea outing soon!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

I do make my turkey stock before and make several food items the days before...so on turkey day it's pull it all together and cook then eat and feel stuffed. I can't believe thanksgiving is in two weeks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie! I'm sure I'll blog about when I do!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

That's the way to do it, Cathy! Get it down to where about the only thing left to do on the day is to heat up stuff, eat it and feel stuffed!

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. For years we didn't spend Christmas with my folks because of the weather but we always made Thanksgiving. My mamma was in heaven knowing she was feeding the people she loved. Great tips!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Mmmmm I love homemade gravy, and using drumsticks is a great idea, Jean! Thanks for sharing your hints and ideas with us.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marisa, thank you for sharing great memories. Seems most of my fondest memories of my mother are food memories!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kitty! Being "streamlined" in the kitchen gets more and more important to me all the time!

Mildred said...

Thank you so much! The older I get, the more I like to prepare ahead of time!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, isn't that the truth?! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Brilliant Jean! I totally agree you must make turkey stock to make turkey gravy. Making gravy ahead will certainly take the stress away of last minute duties. ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Martha Ellen! The mashed potatoes and gravy are the best part of a turkey dinner to me!

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Jean, this is a fantastic idea! My mother in law loves dark meat, but no one else likes it. We prefer to roast a turkey breast, which doesn't make much gravy. This will be the answer to our problems even if we make it all that same day. Thanks for letting me know.

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Jean, in addition to adding you to my bloglist, I borrowed a picture to post today about your wonderful blog and recipe for turkey gravy. Thanks for all the work you do to provide such wonderful recipes to us.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, ARC! My husband and I prefer just the turkey breast as well, so this works perfectly for us. I so appreciate your sharing it with your readers!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I was just talking about this the other day to a friend who does this. Excellent idea!!


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Doreen! It really saves a lot of wear and tear on the cook when making a big dinner with many items on the menu.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What a fabulous idea, Jean! Cooking a big dinner is very frazzling during the Holidays especially. So, I really appreciate your sharing these great recipes. What a time saver! Thanks so much and have a lovely weekend...Sandi

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sandi! I hope it will make for calmer cooking on big days!

Reuven said...

Sounds like a great recipe that families can enjoy for Thanksgiving.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Reuven. Having my freezer well stocked with homemade meals (and meal components like this) makes me feel so serene!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Brilliant! Since we don't really love turkey - but we love the dark meat and the gravy - w emus the roast a couple of thighs! This will work perfectly for us. Happy turkey day! (We may actually have pro this year...)

Marilyn Lesniak said...

Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty. I look forward to what you will share next week! We hope you’ll come back again next Thursday when we open our doors at 9:00 AM EST. Pinned, Yummed, Tweeted!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David! Let me know how it turns it for you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn. Much appreciated!

Fran @ Gday Souffle said...

Jean, what a great idea! You're right about getting frazzled with the last-minute turkey gravy being prepared, as the guests are patiently waiting for the dinner to start. Thanks for sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Fran, thank you. Nothing worse than getting frazzled while entertaining!

Grammy said...

Never thought about making it ahead. Definitely something I need to try. I bet it's yummy! Thanks so much Jean for joining in on our Blogging Grandmothers Link Party #2. We sure appreciate you partying with us! Looking forward to you joining us again next weekend!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grammy. And I hope you will try it soon. It reeeeeally helps!

Grammie O Morris said...

What a great idea to make the gravy ahead of time. It sure saves some stress in the kitchen while doing all the other prep work for Thanksgiving. Great idea.

Candace Kage said...

Making the gravy ahead of time would save time, don't know why I have never thought to do this. Thanks for joining Blogging Grandmothers link party.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

GOM, thank you! Yes, I'm all about saving myself stress! :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Candace! Anytime, but especially when I'm cooking for a crowd, I like to do as much as possible ahead of time.

Kathleen Aherne said...

You have stirred up a nice lot of conversation about gravy and other things. Like you I love to do things the day before I have guests. What ever will not spoil I get it out of the way and the associated mess is all cleaned away before the big day.
Kathleen
Bloggers Pit Stop

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kathleen. I wasn't really expecting so many comments on this one. Yes, it's especially nice to get "the associated mess" all taken care of the day before as well!

Clearissa Coward said...

I love anything that allows me to get ahead of the game. These recipes are awesome and since I am lucky enough to be off work the week before Thanksgiving, I am going to prepare my gravy and broth the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I've decided that will be my prep day. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being a part of Blogging Grandmothers Link Party. Please join us again.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Clearissa! I hope you'll let me know how they turned out for you.

All That I'm Eating said...

Great idea and that gravy has come out such a fantastic, rich colour.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, ATIE! I like the color, too -- *and* without any additives!

April J Harris said...

I absolutely love this post, Jean! There is nothing like homemade gravy and it's so wonderful to be able to make it again. Huge thanks for sharing it with us at Hearth and Soul. I'm featuring it at this week's party!

Cranberry Morning said...

This is brilliant! and of course I love doing anything ahead of time that I can. It sure helps with the crunch on the day. Thank you for the recipe, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you! AND for featuring it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! I appreciate anything that softens the crunch!

Audrey Humaciu said...

I've never thought of making gravy early. Then again I have never hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Sounds like a great idea though. Thanks for partying with us on Creative K Kids Tasty Tuesdays.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Audrey! And thanks for hosting Tasty Tuesdays.

Nazneen Hamilton said...

Love this make ahead idea!
I get so frazzled by the time it's dinner time...i want to not make gravy!!

Nazneen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nazneen, I know! But I can't NOT make gravy, so this is perfect! Thank you.

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Thank you for sharing this, Jean! I've pinned it and I will be making it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Carol! I'm so glad you're trying it!

Jann Olson said...

Jean, this is a clever idea. It seemed more difficult getting things all together at the end when I had kids running around. I don't mind it now. I have hubby take the turkey out and I get most of the juices out a bit ahead of time and make the gravy as the turkey is browning. Hubby even makes it sometimes. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jann. True, EVERYthing is more difficult with kids running around! :D

Miz Helen said...

I love the idea of a make ahead Gravy for the big feast this looks awesome. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you had a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Miz Helen. I know YOU know what it's like trying to get 15 different dishes on the table for these big-deal dinners!

Michelle said...

That really does sound so amazing Jean. I'm not a very good cook but if there's one things that makes me go weak at the knees it's a good gravy made with love and lots of other bits. Your turkey gravy sounds like it would make my knees go wobbly. I've pinned it just in case I ever progress from burning everything to making something.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michelle, thank you so much. And I assure you, you can do this! There's no pressure, you just make it way ahead when you're alone, absolutely no pressure. Just follow my directions, and let me know if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

Jean! This is a great idea! I have made giblet gravy the day before Thanksgiving and then added the pan drippings to it but this has to be so much better and would make so much gravy!

At my childhood home we always "flooded" our plates with gravy. I was the youngest and mom would station me, partly to have me out of the traffic pattern in a busy kitchen I am sure, at a back corner of the stove to stir the gravy so it didn't lump or boil too hard, etc.

So, the one thing I really knew well when first married was how to make gravy! I had watched Mom mix and add the thickening so many times... and I would stir away! It is a sweet memory for me now.

But the funny thing is, after years of, well.. not really great gravy at my in-laws, I eventually taught my mother-in-law how to make it. She stills comments and we laugh even yet about how she learned the secrets of gravy making from me - after being married about 35 years. She was one hard working woman and had too much going on in other areas of her life to learn things like that about cooking. She is now 97 and BUSY with Bingo every day! lol. Bless her heart.

Sorry for the long story but this really got me to remembering... Thanks!

Love,
Lily

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dear Lily, never apologize for a long story with me! I love your story! And it makes me very happy to picture your MIL enjoying her leisure at the age of 97. So many of my very best memories are food memories, it seems.

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Jean there is no such thing as a good poultry dish without the traditional gravy. Thank you for providing us with a recipe we can sink our teeth into. Pinning for future use.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mary! I hope you'll like it as much as we do. In my family, gravy was practically a beverage!

Eilis@MyHeartLivesHere said...

What a great idea! Thank you for sharing this at Monday Social.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Eilis! I like to streamline meal prep wherever I can!

3 Little Buttons said...

That looks like a great make. To be honest, I don't like gravy, so I usually use gravy granules and hope for the best. Thank you for sharing with the #dreamteam. One to save for when I am feeling brave I think. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Annette. When you're feeling brave :D I think you'll find it's easier than you ever thought!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...