16 November 2017

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side / www.delightfulrepast.com

Turkey Gravy is the highlight of any turkey dinner. Whether you're hosting a turkey dinner or doing a make-and-take side for dinner at someone else's house, you can be in charge of the gravy!

I know turkey gravy is not thought of as a bring-a-dish item, but check with your hosts. A lot of people don't like making gravy (or make terrible gravy!) and might welcome the idea. You could be a hero!

If you've never made the gravy ahead of time, you're going to thank me for this. It's the only way to go when you've got a dozen things on the menu, some of which need doing at the last minute. 

You know what I'm talking about. The classic mashed 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 just done! 

But you can get the turkey broth and gravy 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 two or three days ahead, just refrigerate it.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side / www.delightfulrepast.com
 Don't forget to Pin 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.

About the
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, or both.

Do you like to make things ahead or do it all on the day? My mother always did pretty much everything on the day, but she was made of sterner stuff. I have to stretch it out!


Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side / www.delightfulrepast.com


Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy


(Makes about 4 cups)

The Turkey


2 turkey drumsticks* (about 2 pounds/0.91 kg total)
1/4 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


The Turkey, cooked
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 salt
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 (about 1/2 teaspoon) 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.

Note: If you don't see lots of brown in your pan after 70 minutes, let it go longer. This is a crucial step. Just be sure you don't let it burn.

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 - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side / 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 - The Perfect Make-and-Take Side / 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, combining it with the defatted pan drippings for even more flavor.


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50 comments:

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Ooh Jean, I can just about taste and smell the wonderful flavor of this delicious gravy. Thanks for sharing your tips on using make ahead techniques for homemade turkey gravy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kitty! It's such a time-saver and stress-reliever, but I wouldn't do it if it didn't also taste wonderful!

Angie Schneider said...

Not really fancy for turkey, but I do LOVE a good broth. Thanks, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. Yes, I love a good broth, too, and it's so handy having it in the freezer.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

NA (Not Applicable)…alas, turkey looks very much like chicken at my Thanksgivings. If the lad calls and comes over – which he seldom does on T-Day – he wants me to make chicken. Good thing, probably. Turkeys love me ‘cause they know what I open the oven door for, and it’s not them. Chickens, on the other hand, have me on their hit list. Gravy? That’s how cannibals serve their fellow man…with gravy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nope, you're not a gravy man, Sully - we have a friend from Texas who IS - can't get enough gravy. In restaurants he asks for extra gravy. He needs a gravy boat all to himself. I'm somewhere in between the two of you!

Margie said...

I hate doing things at the last minute so I like the idea of prepping the gravy in advance.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Very sensible, Margie!

Daniela said...

I also do love to prepare dishes in advance, if it's possible, generally I feel too excited for cooking just at the last minute, so the idea of making the gravy before is quite interesting, thank you dearest Jean for another so interesting recipe of yours !

Hope you're having a lovely week so far,
I'm sending blessings on your coming days

XOXO Dany

Red Rose Alley said...

Lots of great ideas for preparing a few Thanksgiving side dishes early. That gravy looks delicious. My mother-in-law's gravy was the best because it wasn't too dark, and I always enjoyed it. Cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work, and these suggestions are helpful. Thank you, Jean.

~Sheri

Mrs Shoes said...

I freeze all the bones from a roast turkey to later make into stock or soup. This is a great idea Jean; I never thought of offering to bring the gravy & I bet it'll be a big hit. Thanks!

Jeanie said...

Rick is the gravy maker in our house and he's always very good at it. I, on the other hand, am bookmarking this recipe for if he's not around!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dany dear, thank you. Yes, it helps one keep calm to have things done in advance as much as possible.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Sheri. I figure I need to take advantage of every possible make-ahead any time I'm putting on a big dinner of any kind.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mrs Shoes, I like to do that, too! But the last few times I've roasted a turkey, I just haven't been in the mood to make it then AND had no room in my freezer, so I sent one of the guests home with a carcass - an interesting "door prize"!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, that's wonderful. Rick needs to teach Mr Delightful!

Richard Sheppard said...

Sure sounds like a great way to make things easier on Thanksgiving. There's always so much to do even when I try and pare it down. This year we've decided to roast a couple of chickens with potatoes instead of turkey. But this would be a great way to have gravy for mash potatoes and everything else!

Mildred said...

This is very informative. This year it will just be the two of us, so we are eating out!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard. It's all about the mashed potatoes and gravy for me!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, thanks. Bet you two will have a great time!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean, the older I get the more I make ahead of the actual dinner. My Mama also did everything the day of---I'm clearly not her! Good stock makes all the difference in the world for good gravy. I totally agree no chicken stock for turkey gravy. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, you're not getting older, you're just getting smarter! :D Glad you agree about the stock - just read about a celebrity chef who was recommending putting chicken stock in the stuffing, etc.

Cranberry Morning said...

Brilliant! And yes, many people make terrible gravy full of poisons! I've never made mine ahead like this, but will another time. I always use potato water poured into the pan the turkey was roasted in, then the company seems to love standing around watching me scrape and stir while the miracle of gravy occurs. I will definitely do all this ahead of time, another time. Although I think the family is always surprised that the disgusting looking drippings can end up tasting so good. LOL. Thanks Jean. Great plan!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, thanks so much. You know I love hearing words like "Brilliant!" :D I love using potato water as well. And I love your expression "the miracle of gravy!"

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love to do all I can ahead of time when preparing for the Thanksgiving feast and making the gravy ahead of time sounds like a wonderful idea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pat! I've been known to set the table for a dinner party or afternoon tea two days ahead of time - I cover it with a light cloth so that dust doesn't get on the dishes.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! to roasting the meat/bones before making the broth. And a lot of people are horrible at the gravy making and most people like gravy. I bet they welcome you with open arms when they see you carrying that liquid gold. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

The mashed potatoes and gravy are my favorite part of Thanksgiving - this is brilliant, Jean. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marisa, thank you. I love that - "liquid gold!"

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David. I've been doing this for years - when I cooked a turkey last January I not only had the broth and gravy made ahead and in the freezer, but nearly every side dish and dessert as well!

Cindy D. said...

This gravy sounds delicious. I think it's awesome that you can make it ahead of time, and it isn't something you have to make on the spot, and then eat it right away, for it to be freshly made to eat. Thanks for sharing this great gravy recipe!

- Natalie A.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Natalie, thank you. It's something that can really help keep things calm in the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

No giblets!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nope, 'fraid not, no giblets for us. We like a perfectly smooth gravy. But you can easily cook and chop up the giblets on the day and stir them into the gravy. Back in the day, when I was more accommodating, I used to do one with giblets/one without to please everyone. Now I just do what pleases me! :D

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Yum! I could enjoy this any time of year! Great idea to make it ahead. I can almost taste it....Happy Thanksgiving! x Karen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Karen! Yes, it makes a quick meal of a little half turkey breast any time of year.

Tony Grant said...

Sounds really goo.I make a beef stock gravy. It took me many many attempts to get a smooth satisfactory result. I am now reasonably proficient at making gravy.Its a basic gravy though. Your example sounds so much better than mine. I must have a go. Thanks for this Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I'm glad this is helpful. I hope you'll give it a try next time you roast a turkey and let me know how it turned out for you.

Swathi Iyer/ Zesty South Indian Kitchen said...

This post is really useful Jean. I think roasting turkey legs looks delicious. I need to try it. Pinning and tweeting. it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Swathi. It's a real stress-reducer when you're trying to get a big meal on the table.

Patrick Looney said...

I love anything I can make ahead

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Very wise, Patrick!

Miz Helen said...

Jean these are fantastic tips and a great recipe! Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
Our Party for this week will start Tuesday Morning at 8:00 am CST.
Hope to see you then!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Miz Helen, and thanks for the reminder! Have a wonderful week!

Jann Olson said...

Yum! I love gravy and this looks delicious! I'm going to make your cranberry sauce tomorrow. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thank you so much! Do let me know how you like the cranberry sauce. Have a wonderful week. Hugs.

Carlee said...

I absolutely love the idea of not having to quick throw the gravy together at the same time all of the other last minute tasks need to be done!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Carlee - I like the way you put that! :-)

Miz Helen said...

Congratulations!
Your post is featured on The Thanksgiving Edition of Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing with us, enjoy your new Red Plate and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you. I feel extremely honored!

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