Old-Fashioned Giblet Gravy

Chopped eggs and giblets in gravy in a pot

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 40 mins
Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ever wondered what to do with the little bag of giblets that typically come inside a turkey or chicken? You make this gravy with giblets, which consists of the heart, liver, gizzards, and neck meat. It takes a little bit of effort—most of it is hands-off time for things to simmer—but it adds so much of a rich, savory boost to the chicken or turkey you're likely to serve it with.

This is a classic old-fashioned Southern-style giblet gravy made with the addition of hard-boiled eggs. If you like an egg-free gravy, feel free to omit the hard-boiled eggs. Use this recipe to make a delicious gravy to go with your chicken, Cornish game hens, or roasted turkey. 

Put the turkey drippings in a gravy separator to eliminate the excess fat. If you don't have turkey drippings, use a good quality turkey or chicken stock. For a richer, creamier gravy, stir in some heavy or light cream or half-and-half just before it's done.

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Ingredients

  • Giblets (from a whole turkey, or chicken)
  • 4 cups water (cold)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups pan drippings (or turkey or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or half-and-half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Giblet gravy ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Remove liver from giblets and refrigerate.

    Liver removed from giblets and ready to chill
    The Spruce
  3. Place the remaining giblets into a saucepan and cover with 4 cups cold water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the giblets for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the liver to the saucepan and simmer for another 30 minutes.

    Giblets and liver boiling in water
    The Spruce
  4. Place a mesh strainer or colander over a bowl. Drain the giblets and set the liquids aside to use in the gravy, if needed. Let the giblets cool. Remove the meat from the neck and chop with the rest of the meat.

    Strained and chopped giblets on a wooden cutting board
    The Spruce
  5. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the roux just barely begins to turn golden.

    Roux with butter and flour in a saucepan
    The Spruce
  6. If you don't have drippings from a roasted turkey or chicken, or if you only have a small amount, add the giblet broth or chicken or turkey stock to make 2 cups. Slowly stir in the drippings and/or broth into the roux. Add the milk or half-and-half. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened.

    Gilbet broth or drippings added into roux with milk
    The Spruce
  7. Taste and season the gravy with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Gravy seasoned with salt and pepper
    The Spruce
  8. Stir in the chopped hard-cooked eggs and chopped giblets and serve. Enjoy!

    Chopped eggs and giblets stirred into gravy
    The Spruce

How Do You Remove the Giblets?

Typically, when you buy a whole turkey or chicken, the giblets are in a bag inside the cavity of the bird. Defrost (if necessary), and remove the bag from the inside, and remove the giblets from the bag and use as the recipe directs. Sometimes there is more than one bag, so be sure to check the cavity carefully.

Sometimes the manufacturer's packaging will indicate if the giblets are inside the bird, and in other infrequent cases, there are occasions in which they are removed and not repackaged inside the bird. If you buy from a farmer, you're almost guaranteed to find the giblets inside the bird.

Variations

  • For a richer, creamier gravy, add some cream (heavy or light) or half-and-half just before serving.
  • Add a medium sliced onion and 2 stalks of sliced celery to the saucepan along with the giblets. If desired, use strainer and reserve the giblet broth to use along with the drippings.
  • Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions to the butter and saute until tender before adding the flour.
  • Add a few tablespoons of minced shallots to the butter and sauté until tender.
  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage, 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary, and a pinch of freshly chopped thyme leaves.

How to Use Giblet Gravy

Gravy made from giblets is great with roasted chicken, roasted turkey, and on top of mashed potatoes or classic stuffing at Thanksgiving.