Take that liquid gold known as turkey drippings and turn it into the most flavorful, rich, and Easy Turkey Gravy.
While the holiday table may have numerous dishes upon it like the turkey and stuffing, nothing brings the meal together like this turkey gravy recipe. Toss those packets or jars and whip up this quick and easy homemade gravy.
This recipe is specifically about turkey gravy, but the steps work the same whether it’s turkey, chicken, beef, or country gravy.
The key to a rich, thick, and smooth gravy is equal parts fat and flour mixed with drippings, broth, water, and/or milk. Herbs, spices, and seasonings are also important.
- Turkey drippings — the renderings from roasting a turkey.
- Butter — we used salted, but unsalted is fine too, especially if your drippings are salty.
- Flour — we used all purpose flour.
- Seasonings — if the turkey drippings are flavorful, not much more than salt and pepper is needed.
- Herbs — additional fresh herbs, the same that were used in making the turkey to enhance the gravy, we used thyme, sage, and rosemary the gravy.
How to make easy turkey gravy from drippings
Step 1 — After the turkey is removed, save all the liquid and cooked pieces in the skillet.
Step 2 — Remove as many large pieces of the produce and herbs from the pan drippings, then pass the rest of the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard anything left behind. Set the broth aside.
Step 3 — Melt butter in the same skillet or roasting pan the turkey was roasted in, if possible, over medium high heat.
Step 4 — Once the butter has melted, slowly whisk in flour to create smooth paste.
Step 5 — After the roux has been made, slowly pour in and incorporate the turkey drippings. Whisk continually, taking care there are no roux lumps.
Step 6 — Bring the gravy to a high simmer, whisking constantly.
Step 7 — As the gravy begins to thicken, taste for seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste; add fresh herbs and return to a boil.
Step 8 — Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the gravy has reached the desired consistency then remove the herbs.
Adaptations and variations
- Add cayenne, chipotle, or red pepper flakes if you’d like a bit of a kick to your gravy.
- Use some granulated bouillon to enhance the flavor if water has been used in place of drippings.
- Either increase the roux or decrease the liquid to add in milk for a creamier gravy. Or simply add a few drops of heavy cream.
- White wine can be used in place of some of the liquid.
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to deepen the flavor.
How to make pan drippings gravy using cornstarch
In a pinch or if you’re trying to keep the gravy gluten free, cornstarch base gravy is the way to go.
- Make a slurry of 1/4 cup of COLD water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch together for every 2 cups of pan drippings.
- Bring the pan drippings to a simmers with 2 tablespoons of butter and any aromatics and seasonings.
- Slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry a bit at a time and allow it to simmer for several minutes to thicken.
How to prevent gravy from forming a skin
After gravy has been made and sits for even just a short time, a skin begins to form on top. The longer it sits, even if it’s warm, the thicker the skin will become.
Sometimes, if caught quickly, the skin can be mixed in and dissolved. However, if you can’t serve right away and don’t want to waste any of this delicious gravy, simply press plastic wrap over and on the gravy, directly.
You’ll want softly press it right on top of the gravy, leaving little-to-no air between the plastic wrap and the gravy. When you’re ready to serve, simple pull off the plastic wrap, toss it, and serve.
There are couple of reasons, it may need to reduce further or it could need a bit more flour. When using equal parts butter and flour with pan drippings, the pan drippings may have a higher fat content requiring a bit more flour. If your drippings are fattier than standard broth, when making the roux, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour.
The rule is 1 tablespoon each of flour and butter for every 1 cup of liquid. Add water, chicken broth, chicken stock, or milk to bring you to the 4 cups needed for this recipes or reduce the rest of the ingredients to match the amount of liquid you have.
Absolutely! I like to store any leftover in ice cube trays, then once frozen, pop out and store in a air tight container for up to 3 months. However, freeze it altogether or portioned any way you like.
There’s a couple of ways, thin it with more water or low-sodium broth. Counter with a bit of sugar and more black pepper. The sugar to offset the salt and pepper take away any sweetness. Some say tossing in a peeled and chopped potato will do the trick too.
Easy Turkey Gravy
- cast iron skillet 10-15" will do, or the one the turkey cooked in.
- 4 cups turkey drippings
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp pepper +/-, to taste
- ¼ tsp salt +/-, to taste
- fresh herbs
- Remove as many large pieces left in the pan drippings, then pass the rest of the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard anything caught. Set the broth aside.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet the turkey was roasted in, if possible, over medium high heat.
- Once the butter has melted, slowly whisk in the flour to create smooth paste.
- Slowly pour in and incorporate the turkey drippings to the roux, whisking continually, taking care there are no roux lumps.
- Bring the gravy to a high simmer, whisking or stirring almost constantly.
- As the gravy begins to thicken, taste for seasoning; add any salt, peppers, and fresh herbs and return to b boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the gravy has reached the desired consistency and remove the herbs.
- Transfer to a bowl, boat, or similar and serve.
Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.