I always hated those hectic moments when the turkey was finally done roasting, I was trying to time the baking of the cornbread dressing with the sweet potato dish, rolls, etc., and in the middle of all that, trying to make gravy from the turkey pan drippings and then somehow manage to serve everything hot. It was too much stress! Fortunately, in 2004 Cuisine at Home published a make ahead turkey gravy recipe that I’ve made for sixteen years now. I always make it the day before Thanksgiving (or any time I plan to serve turkey) and it’s not only delicious, it makes my house smell fantastic the day before the big dinner. It’s super easy and all you have to do the day of your meal is heat it up in a pot on the stove. Now that we “fry” our turkey, using an oil free “fryer,” and I have no drippings to even make gravy, this recipe saves the day.
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 lbs. turkey wings
4 cups chicken broth, divided
4 cups water
1 cup whole milk
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
PREHEAT: oven to 375 degrees. ROAST: celery, carrot, onion, garlic and turkey wings for 1 1/4 hours.
ADD: 2 cups chicken broth and roast an additional 45 minutes. Transfer pan to the stovetop, add 2 additional cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until liquid is reduced to about 4 cups. Remove and reserve wing pieces, then strain and defat the stock, discarding vegetables. When wings are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from them and chop.
Combine 1 cup whole milk and 6 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour to make a slurry. Bring stock to a boil in the pan. Whisk in the slurry and simmer for five minutes.
Add the chopped turkey, 2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Place gravy in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to serve. To reheat, simply pour into a pot on the stovetop, stirring often to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot.