How to Make Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy

Turkey Gravy
The Spruce
Ratings (45)
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

There are many ways to make gravy for a turkey or chicken dinner, including some shortcuts 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.

Use this recipe for roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hens. 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.

See the tips and variations below the recipe for some optional additions and flavor ideas.

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Ingredients

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe ingredients
  2. Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup or gravy separator and skim the fat off.

  3. Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan.

    Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

    Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Discard any remaining skimmed fat. Add enough water to the liquids left in the measuring cup to make 2 cups of liquid. Pour the 2 cups of liquid into the flour and fat mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

    Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy recipe
     The Spruce

    Tips and Variations

  8. Enjoy!

Tips

  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • For richer flavor, use a good quality chicken or turkey stock (unsalted or low sodium) instead of water.
  • After the gravy has thickened, 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. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute longer. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dry white wine or Madeira to the saucepan along with the 2 cups of liquid and proceed with the recipe.