Do Ahead Gravy for Thanksgiving

I think you’ll get a kick out of this scenario. Today I was elbow deep in kraut. Homemade sauerkraut that is. I just finished tamping it down into jars when it dawned on me that I need to get to the grocery to buy turkey wings for my do-ahead turkey gravy for Thanksgiving. 

I’m sharing the recipe here, tweaked a bit. When I mentioned the gravy a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d get requests. And I did. 

This gravy is yummy on its own, but pour the defatted drippings from your roasted turkey into it, and oh my, you’ll love the results. Plus making the gravy ahead gives you extra for leftovers, and no worries about making it from scratch on Thanksgiving.

And I know I tell you this every year, but this year wishing you and yours a holiday filled with good food and good people is more important than ever. 

Most likely your gathering, like mine, will be smaller due to the pandemic. So take a few minutes and pack up some to-go dinners. Share them with folks who may not be able to leave their homes, or might be alone. 

And don’t forget to break the wishbone – whoever gets the biggest half can make a wish! 

Do ahead turkey gravy


Anywhere from 4-6 turkey wings 

2 large yellow onions, quartered or chopped coarsely (not sweet onions)

1 cup water 

2 quarts chicken broth, divided

1 smallish carrot, unpeeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or about a tablespoon of fresh leaves, minced

1 bay leaf

Few sprigs parsley (opt)

3/4 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 375.

Arrange wings in a single layer in a large sprayed roasting pan. (You may have to divide them between 2 pans).

Scatter onions over top.

Roast about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until wings are dark brown.

Put wings and onions in large pot.

Add water to roasting pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom. Add brown bits to pot.

Add 6 cups broth, carrot, thyme, bay and parsley. If you need to add a little more liquid to cover, add water. 

Bring to boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or so.

Remove wings and save meat for another use.

Strain broth into saucepan, pressing vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. 

Refrigerate overnight if you  have time so you can skim fat off top easily. If not, do your best to skim it after straining.

Bring broth in pot to a gentle boil.

Whisk flour into remaining 2 cups chicken broth.

Whisk in broth/flour mixture into broth and boil a few minutes to thicken gravy. 

Stir butter in. Season to taste.  

Refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze for 2 months.


When you reheat gravy, add turkey drippings to it. If this makes the gravy too thin, whisk a little flour and cool water together – equal parts of each, then add some to the gravy. Do this in increments a little at a time, until you reach thickness desired.

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