Turkey giblet gravy is a must for Thanksgiving and you won’t believe how easy it is to make it from scratch. Using turkey drippings, giblets and turkey neck, along with some fragrant herbs will give you a delicious from-scratch gravy to enjoy along with your turkey and stuffing in no time.
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If you grew up with me, you’ve probably had gravy of some form or sort at Thanksgiving. Possibly from a packet? Maybe from a jar?
I didn’t know how incredibly easy it was to make a turkey gravy from scratch until I went to culinary school. I was exposed to a lot of things during that time.
I promise you that you will swear off the packet and the jarred turkey gravy once I show you how effortlessly you can make a delicious turkey gravy from the drippings and the giblets.
What are Turkey Giblets
First things first, what in the world are giblets.
Giblets are nothing more than the inner organs of the turkey (think heart, kidneys, liver etc). There are some people out there that love eating giblets but they’re honestly not my thing.
However, frying up the giblets and cooking them in some gravy is a great way to use them without having deal with their different tastes.
How Do You Remove The Neck and Giblets From Turkey
Thankfully, when you buy a turkey (or turkey breast), the giblets and neck are already stuffed within the cavity of the bird. All you have to do is just pull them out when you are preparing the turkey for roasting.
How to Make a Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy with Neck and Giblets
I am all for total utilization of food, whether it be meat or produce, so that little goes to waste. The same can be said for my roasted turkey. Be sure to check out this post for all of my tips and tricks to roasting a perfect turkey breast.
Once my turkey is in the oven and roasting, I would immediately make a turkey stock out of the neck bone that was in the cavity of the turkey. Adding things like onion, celery, and carrot scraps will help reduce the trash that you’ll accumulate over the course of cooking Thanksgiving and putting them to good use.
I would then let that turkey stock cook for the entirety of the roasting time for the turkey just to get as much flavor as possible from the neck.
After the turkey is done roasting, there will be drippings at the bottom of the roasting pan. This stuff is liquid gold! Not only does it have an amazing turkey flavor, but it also will have all of the seasonings and spices you used to flavor the turkey. This means that the turkey gravy will be a perfect fit for your turkey dinner.
Drain the drippings from the pan and allow the fat to separate from the drippings. You can easily do this by using a ladle until almost all of the fat has been removed. You can choose to either discard the fat or use the fat to saute the gravy ingredients.
Cooking Turkey Giblets
The turkey will have to rest for a while before it’s ready to be carved, to allow the juices to redistribute and such. This is the perfect time to get your gravy together.
I like to start off all of my sauces by sauteeing at least some shallots in some olive oil. It’s a classic European way to start off a sauce but really helps build flavor from the beginning.
After the shallots have sautéed, then I add the giblets. This allows the giblets to caramelize a bit and cooks them before adding the liquid. If you decided to stuff your turkey with onions, celery, and carrots prior to roasting, I would throw them into the gravy at this point (hello flavor!).
When the giblets have a nice caramelized look to them, I add some flour and make a roux. This is going to be the thickener of the gravy and allows for the gravy to have an awesome texture.
Making Turkey Gravy from Drippings
After the roux is an almond color, I toss in my delicious turkey neck stock (strained) and the drippings from the roasted turkey. I also like to add what would be deemed “poultry seasonings” to the gravy: sage, rosemary, and thyme.
It is important to let this turkey giblet gravy simmer for at least 15 minutes, to get rid of the gritty taste of uncooked flour. This also allows the gravy to thicken to a great consistency.
Once the gravy is where I like it, I use an immersion blender to blend the giblets into the liquid for more uniform consistency. There will be little bits and if that bothers you, feel free to strain for a silky-smooth finish.
How Do You Make Gravy Without Flour
I get it if you can’t do flour and trust me when I say that there are other ways to thicken the gravy.
If you are gluten-free for any reason, don’t add flour to the giblets before the drippings. Just add the drippings and stock and once the liquid has simmered for at least 15 minutes, you can add a slurry from cornstarch or arrowroot.
Make sure that the gravy is hot and that you’re stirring it before adding the slurry to it to avoid clumps. And there you have it, a gluten-free turkey giblet gravy!
Do You Add Milk to Turkey Gravy
I personally do not. I like to keep my turkey gravy as close to a classic velouté as possible (a classic French Mother Sauce made of thickened chicken stock). Without the milk, this homemade turkey gravy will have a darker appearance but if you want to add milk, I would add maybe ¼ cup at the end of cooking to avoid curdling.
There you have it! An easy and completely from scratch delicious turkey giblet gravy perfect for Thanksgiving that uses up all parts of the turkey. I hope that you give this recipe a try for Thanksgiving and that it ends up becoming a staple for your holiday dinner. Tell me all about it down in the comments along with a rating!
Dishes perfect for serving with this recipe:
- Creamy Edamame and Corn Succotash
- Italian Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
- Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole
- Homemade Cornbread Dressing (Stuffing) with Sausage
- Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls
- Sweet Potato Bake with Fresh Cranberries and Apples
- Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
- Perfectly Roasted Bone-in Turkey Breast
- Lemon and Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Be sure to check out these posts to get you ready for the holidays:
- 18+ Easy and Gourmet Holiday Party Appetizers
- 15+ Main Dishes for a Non-Traditional Holiday Dinner
- 35+ Must-Have Holiday Dessert Recipes
- 20+ Unique and Gourmet Holiday Side Dishes
- Holiday Leftover Breakfast Puff Pastry
Check out more Thanksgiving recipes here.
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- Giblets from one turkey
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 1/2 cup turkey stock, made from turkey neck
- ½- 2/3 cup drippings (depending on how much you have)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ ounce fresh poultry seasonings, rosemary, thyme, sage
- In a medium saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add
shallots and saute for about 5 minutes, over medium heat, until translucent.
- Add giblets to shallots and caramelize for about 5 minutes.
Add flour and cook until the roux becomes almond in color.
- Once the roux gets to be almond in color, add the drippings
and stock to the pan. Stir to mix well and make sure that the roux isn’t stuck
to the bottom of the pan. Add herbs to the gravy and allow the gravy to cook for at least 15 minutes or until thick.
- Blend using an immersion blender or a standing blender until
uniform in consistency. Serve alongside your Thanksgiving meal.
If you need a gluten-free gravy, omit the flour and add a slurry mix of equal parts cornstarch and water to the finished gravy (I would
use about 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water for this recipe).
This recipe would be great with my Lemon and Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hen. Use this same recipe using chicken giblets and chicken stock for a delicious sauce.
If you would like a thicker gravy, consider adding another tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the sautéed shallots and giblets, along with another tablespoon of flour.
The video in the recipe card only shows the technique in making gravy. Follow the recipe for best results.
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Amount Per ServingCalories 45Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 41mgSodium 49mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 5g