Food Issue: Rich and silky turkey gravy

Rich and silky turkey gravy, from Bon Appetit.
Christopher Testani/Bon Appetit

This recipe is courtesy of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen.

Good gravy begins with good stock. At least one day (and up to four days) before the feast, make your own rich turkey stock. (See our recipe for Do-Ahead Turkey Stock, below.)

In a pinch, you can use store-bought low-salt chicken broth, but the results with homemade are incomparable.

Rich and Silky Turkey Gravy
Serves 8-10

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter or turkey fat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups turkey stock, warm (see below)
2 bay leaves or 1 sprig thyme (optional)
4 dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
2 teaspoons porcini powder (optional)
2 Tbsp. Madeira (optional)
Kosher salt


Melt butter or turkey fat in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. The roux will become smooth and golden brown. Keep whisking! Within 2-3 minutes it will be the color of cafe au lait and smell slightly toasted. Gradually whisk in the warm turkey stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the gravy's at a bare simmer.

Now, for an herbaceous kick, add bay leaves or sprig thyme. For an umami boost, stir in dried porcini mushrooms or porcini powder along with Madeira. With or without these upgrades, let gravy simmer until reduced by half, then remove herbs or mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Season with kosher salt and serve. Or keep the gravy warm until the turkey is finished and take it one step further . . .

Transfer your turkey to a cutting board and strain the drippings from the pan into a measuring cup. Skim the fat; add enough water to measure 1 cup. Place the pan across two burners set on medium-high heat. Add the drippings mixture and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Strain into the gravy; simmer until slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Nutritional information:

10 servings; 1 serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 71.5
% Calories from Fat 74.0
Fat (g) 5.9
Saturated Fat (g) 3.4
Cholesterol (mg) 15.3
Carbohydrates (g) 2.6
Dietary Fiber (g) 0.0
Total Sugars (g) 0.5
Net Carbs (g) 2.5
Protein (g) 1.9
Sodium (mg) 56.0

Do-Ahead Turkey Stock
Makes 2 quarts

You can make this stock up to 4 days ahead.

5 pounds turkey wings
1 turkey neck
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 onions
Giblets (heart, gizzard, liver) of 1 turkey


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread turkey wings and turkey neck on a rack set in a large heavy roasting pan. Brush with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil; roast until browned, about 1 hour. Chop carrots, celery stalks, and onions; toss with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Arrange around turkey parts. Roast until vegetables brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a large pot. Add giblets and 1 gallon water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, skimming surface occasionally, for 3 hours. Strain into another pot; boil until reduced to 2 quarts, about 30 minutes longer.

Nutritional information:

One cup contains:
Calories (kcal) 30.7
% Calories from Fat 31.9
Fat (g) 1.1
Saturated Fat (g) 0.5
Cholesterol (mg) 5.3
Carbohydrates (g) 1.1
Dietary Fiber (g) 0.0
Total Sugars (g) 1.0
Net Carbs (g) 1.1
Protein (g)
Sodium (mg) 140.6

For more info:

For more recipes from this year's "Food Issue" click here!