The best way to enjoy a stress-free Thanksgiving is to take full advantage of make-ahead dishes. And since gravy can be one of the most uncertain elements of every holiday dinner, having make-ahead gravy in the fridge is a valuable resource!
I only recently discovered this recipe from another creator, and I was impressed at its depth of flavor! I’ve edited the recipe to reflect how I make it, but I encourage you to visit the original post for her notes and instructions. For example, she prefers Wondra flour, as it is easier to make a smoother gravy. However, I made a traditional roux with all-purpose flour, since that is what I have on hand.
I haven’t tried it yet, but the original poster claims this gravy can be frozen. This means you can make it weeks – even months – ahead of time, saving yourself even more stress. Or better yet, freeze the leftovers for a delicious turkey dinner long after the holidays are over!
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
(Original recipe: Simply Scratch)
2 yellow onions, halved
2 carrots, chopped
4 short stalks celery, chopped
2 heads garlic, halved
3-6 turkey wings (thaw if frozen)
Freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs thyme
6 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Add a little olive oil to the bottom of a roasting pan. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, turkey wings and thyme. Drizzle more olive oil over top and season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour.
Pour the broth into the pan and return it to the oven. Continue roasting for 45 more minutes, or until the liquids have reduced by half.
Remove turkey wings to a cutting board. Pull the meat off and chop it to add to the gravy later. Strain the broth through a sieve into a bowl. Press the vegetables before discarding to get any liquids from them as well.
In a skillet, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour until dissolved. Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes, then gradually pour in the hot broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to medium-low and continue whisking while the gravy simmers and thickens. Allow it to cook until it reaches your desired consistency.
For an even thicker gravy, make a cornstarch slurry (2-3 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water) and whisk it in.
Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Once thickened, stir in the chopped meat you set aside earlier. Let cool before storing.
Make this as early as a month in advance and freeze – thaw before reheating. Or prepare it 3 to 4 days in advance and keep refrigerated in an air-tight container and reheat the day of.