My Latest & Greatest Do-Ahead Turkey Gravy


OK, now for those of you who have my previous do ahead turkey gravy recipes, rest assured they are all very good. But this year I went full tilt and adjusted a couple of ingredients. Like the carrot amount – I had usually put in 2 carrots but the last time I made it they seemed to make the gravy too vegetal tasting – maybe it was the carrots themselves but regardless, I’ve opted to put only 1 small one in the recipe and it turned out great.

Also I clarified the thyme. Powdered thyme is stronger than dried leaf thyme, so use less. Fresh thyme? You’ll need more.I hope you like this gravy recipe. Do let me know if you added anything to it, or left anything out and still enjoyed it. That’s what this site is all about: caring and sharing!

Thanksgiving at our house is most likely the same as yours if you’re the cook. Anything that can be made ahead is a bonus, and this do-ahead gravy recipe is always at the top of my list. 
I like having a lot of turkey gravy so making a batch ahead and adding drippings right before serving is one less thing to worry about. 

Here’s the recipe as it has evolved. Deciding to use 1 small carrot instead of 2 larger ones made the carrot flavor enhance, not overwhelm the finished gravy. 

Unpeeled onions add color and nutrition. Bay and parsley? They add  savory notes, so use them if you can. 

One more thing: Don’t use a real big cookie sheet. You want a large enough pan to hold wings and onions, but small enough so drippings don’t evaporate away during roasting. Those drippings are the base of a good gravy. 

Do-ahead turkey gravy


Olive or vegetable oil

2 whole turkey wings — 1-1/2 to 2 pounds or so

Salt and pepper

2 medium onions, peel left on, cut into eighths

2 quarts chicken broth plus little more if needed

1 smallish carrot, unpeeled, sliced

2 nice ribs celery with leaves if possible, cut into 2” pieces

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon powdered thyme or several 2” sprigs fresh

1 bay leaf (optional but good)

Few sprigs parsley (optional but good)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour plus little more if needed

1-2 tablespoons butter 


Preheat oven to 400.

Brush or smear a bit of oil on cookie sheet with sides. 

Season wings all over with salt and pepper and place on cookie sheet.

Scatter onions around.

Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or so, stirring once. Wings and onions will get dark brown.

Put wings and onions in pot.

Pour 1 cup broth in roasting pan and scrape up all brown bits, etc., and add to pot.

Add carrots, celery, thyme, bay and parsley.

Pour 4 cups broth on top.

Bring this stock to boil, lower to simmer and cook, uncovered 45 minutes or so.

Strain, pushing down on solids.

Discard wings and vegetables. (If wings are meaty, chop remove skin, then chop meat up and add barbecue sauce.)

Add enough remaining broth to make 3-1/2 cups or so. 

Refrigerate up to 4 days and skim fat off. If making gravy right away, skim as much fat as you can. 

Whisk flour and remaining broth together in large pot. (If mixture stays lumpy, add a bit more broth to smooth out.)

Pour strained stock in and whisk.

Bring to boil, cook and stir until thickened. Won’t take long.

Stir in butter, salt and pepper. 

Refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

Makes a good 4 cups.


  • Add roasted turkey drippings to gravy. If they thin gravy too much, make a slurry of equal parts flour and water or broth and stir in a little at a time. 
  • Lumpy gravy? Just push through a strainer.
  • No wings available? Use legs.

2 thoughts on “My Latest & Greatest Do-Ahead Turkey Gravy

    1. Hi, Janet,
      I think I replied through email but I’m so low tech that I wanted to be sure, even if the holiday has long gone. So glad it worked for you.


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