How to Make Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy

Basic turkey or chicken gravy

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings

There are many ways to make gravy for a turkey or chicken dinner, including some shortcut gravies using butter instead of pan drippings along with chicken or turkey stock. This is a recipe for a classic turkey gravy made with pan drippings, flour, and water or stock. Purchased chicken or turkey stock may be used, but it should be a good quality stock and low in sodium or unsalted. For best results, make your own stock.

Use this recipe for roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hens and even turkey hash. The recipe can easily be scaled up or down for a large roasted turkey or smaller hens. It depends on how much fat you have in the drippings. A small amount of butter can be added to the turkey or chicken fat if you do not have 1/4 cup.

1:15

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Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 cups pan drippings (from roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish hens)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 cups stock (low sodium or unsalted turkey or chicken stock, or water)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for basic turkey and chicken gravy
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  2. Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup or gravy separator and skim the fat off.

    Pour turkey fat in measuring cup
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  3. Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan over medium heat.

    Fat in frying pan
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.

    Pour in flour
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  5. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

    Cook gravy
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  6. Discard any remaining skimmed fat from the drippings. Add enough stock or water to the liquids left in the measuring cup to make 2 cups of liquid. Pour into the flour and fat mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

    Discard skimmed fat
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  7. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Add salt and pepper
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  8. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

    Turkey or chicken gravy
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Recipe Variations

  • For deeper flavor, use a good quality chicken or turkey stock (unsalted or low sodium) instead of water.
  • To make giblet gravy, put the neck, heart, and liver in a saucepan and cover with salt-free or very low sodium stock or water. Simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain the giblets, and chop the meat (discard the cooking liquid and gristle, and remove meat from the neck). Add the chopped giblets to the saucepan with the 1/4 cup of fat, and proceed with the recipe.
  • For a rich herb gravy, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped sage, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh finely minced rosemary, and 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped thyme after the gravy has thickened. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute longer.
  • For deeper flavor, add 2 tablespoons of dry white wine or Madeira to the saucepan along with the 2 cups of liquid, and proceed with the recipe.

How long do drippings last in the fridge?

If you'd like to make gravy later or use the drippings another time, pour them into an airtight container. They will last in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat before using.