Best Gravy Ever

Total Time:
25 min
10 min
15 min

10 to 12 servings

  • 1 Good Eats Roast Turkey, recipe follows
  • 24 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces red wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme or rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Good Eats Roast Turkey:
  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
  • For the brine:
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water
  • For the aromatics:
  • 1 red apple, quartered
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil
  • 2 to 3 days before roasting:

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set aside to rest. Leave the drippings from the turkey in the pan and place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the broth and wine at the same time. Whisk to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan until all of the bits have come loose. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes in order to reduce the mixture slightly. Transfer the liquid to a fat separator and let sit for 5 minutes to allow fat to separate. Return 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the fat to the roasting pan and place over medium-high heat. Discard any remaining fat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken and become smooth, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Once this happens, gradually add the liquid back to the pan and whisk until smooth and you have reached your desired consistency, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Remember, your gravy should be slightly thin in the pan as it will thicken once you serve it. Add the herbs and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

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    Holds up to the title! I added the neck and gizzards to the mix and it came out fabulous. Rich and dark, not tan and gloppy like many turkey gravies.
    My family loved this gravy!! It was amazing.
    We've made the Good Eats turkey 3 years n a row and love it. I hate making gravy and have never found a recipe that I like. I only just found Alton's gravy recipe the day before Thanksgiving and decided to try it. It was a HUGE hit. I found my forever gravy recipe. The red wine adds a great flavor. Who knew?!?! Thanks Alton for another great recipe. You're the best!
    The name says it all!!! I actually said, "This is the best gravy I've ever had!!!" while I was eating it! Simple and delicious. Actually froze the leftovers in little containers so I can have it in between making turkeys...
    This was the best gravy I've ever made. I made the good eats roast turkey and followed all the instructions and it was so delicious. It's such a great idea to use the fat from the turkey instead of butter to form the roux, and I loved that you add the pan drippings until you're satisfied with the consistency, no more adding flour in increments. It was met with many compliments!
    Awesome gravy, HOWEVER, do not put a metal pan on both burners of an electric stove, AB's stove is gas, and he can do that. If your stove is electric, you will cause a fire that will ruin the wiring of your stove, and possibly more.
    This is the first time my turkey gravy tasted amazing! Thank you, Alton.
    This will be my second year using this recipe. Everyone loved it! Thanks Alton!
    took this recipe as an inspiration for our gravy this Christmas - omg - amazing! Best tasting gravy ever. If you don't get enough fat from the turkey, then use butter and flour to make the roux - 2tbs of butter to 4 tbs of flour - no lumps. Use Alton's recipe for the rest, and it is the fast train to flavor town - pure awesome!
    Great recipe! I didn't put in the spices but the gravy was still flavorful. I needed to thin it with spare low sodium chicken broth and as mentioned in other posts, you will definitely want it to be low-sodium. My only regret is that I didn't end up with as much stock from the bird as I would have liked - but that also made for a moister turkey.
    Great stuff!
    Best recipe ever! I use rosemary and thyme and it is fantastic every time I make it. Made it for thanksgiving for 30+ and got rave reviews! Just try it!
    I may never buy gravy ever again it was that damn good, you are my Favorite chef on here you make me want to cook. I love your show good eats and iron chef america and i can't wight for your new show to start.
    YUM! Never ever made gravy before today and this was pretty good.  
    The instructions were super easy to follow and the video was perfect.  
    I did end up with way too much of it in the end though, so just a heads up (although I did have a 20lb turkey so.. that may have been why.
    I have always been a canned gravy person (for shame because I thought real gravy was too hard, and didn't realize until Thanksgiving day that I had forgotten it on the list. So, I quickly googled "best gravy ever" and this recipe came up. Also, I was making the good eats roast turkey so why not make it an alton brown Thanksgiving??? I followed this recipe to the best of my abilities. I did not have a fat separator on hand so I just did it manually and it still turned out fantastic!
    Hi - As one person commented back in 2010 - I think there is a typo on this recipe page - the turkey should come out at 161 degrees, not 151 degrees per the Good Eats Turkey recipe and Alton Brown's video. But the gravy itself was great with the Good Eats Roasted Turkey - we didn't add any add'l salt and used low salt chicken broth.
    Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
    As a turkey and gravy novice, this recipe was fail safe. However, I improvised a bit. I used unsalted giblet stock that I made the night before (at the same time, I sunk the bird in brine. When the bird came out of the oven, it was easy to deglaze my brand new roasting pan with the juices. I used sauvignon blanc and rosemary because I had those on hand. I think maybe red wine for rosemary, white wine for thyme. Whisking in the flour is crucial for no lumps. Totally worth the purchase of a fat separator. Extremely flavorful due to brined bird. I did have to continue adding stock until I got the desired taste and consistency.
    I am not the best at making gravy but I gave this a try. Very similar to how I usually do it except for the wine. I was a bit nervous, but the wine did add a richness to the gravy. My husband didn't buy me the low sodium broth so I did think it was a bit salty but not bad. Next year I will omit some of the thyme and use the low sodium broth. Great turkey (3rd year making it Alton's way with a Fresh Butterball less than 4% injected. No chemical taste as some have said and it was moist and delicious and certainly not salty.
    This is an appropriate name for this gravy, as it is the best gravy ever to accompany the best turkey ever (Alton's Good Eats Turkey! I should note, though, to taste your gravy before adding any salt. I didn't have to salt mine at all. The drippings added enough salt to the gravy.
    i really liked this recipe, it looked delicious and was simple to prep..
    This really is the best gravy ever. I made it last Thanksgiving and again for Christmas and got rave reviews. My husband said it's the thing he's looking forward to most this Thanksgiving. I had never made gravy (or a turkey before and it was easy and the videos really helped. If you're conflicted on whether or not to make this gravy - DO IT - you'll be a STAR!
    Best way to top off Alton's Roasted Turkey!
    I prepared this recipe last Thanksgiving and I am going to prepare it again for this Thanksgiving. It was the best turkey I have ever made in my life. (I am 75 yrs old The turkey was moist and juicy and the flavor was fantastic. My family and friends raved about how wonderful the turkey and gravy were. They asked me to prepare it again this year. You can never go wrong with an Alton Brown recipe!
    I need help, What brand of red wine should I use?
    I made this gravy last year for Thanksgiving, along with Altons turkey recipe. It was my first time making gravy and I am so glad I used this recipe. The gravy was fantastic and I got rave reviews. My husband says I must make this recipe, and I agree. I have a great bottle of wine waiting for this gravy recipe this Thanksgiving.
    This truly is the Best Gravy Ever. I made it for Thanksgiving last year. My dad is really picky and wanted me to make the gravy his way. But since the everyone has to do their part for the holidays I wanted to try making the gravy that year. Everyone told my dad that he made the gravy better than he ever had that year. He never told them that I made it. I was okay with that since my mom and husband knew. Even he liked it and now its my job to make the gravy every year.
    Really tasty gravy! I thickened it a little by using Paula Deen's technique of adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a quarter cup of water then pouring the mixture into the gravy. I also added so bits of turkey meat into the sauce. i really enjoyed this gravy. I think next year though I'm going to look for a thicker, chunkier gravy to make. Just note -- this one is very light and thin - although it is very flavorful and delicious....
    Delicious. I didn't bother with the fancy seperating of the fat and what not. I used all of the ingredients and just combined them the standard way u's make a gravy. My friends and family loved was gone the first leftover gravy!
    Easy to follow recipe, best turkey gravy I've ever had. I used thyme and rosemary to finish it off and the flavor was great!
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    Top Turkeys for Thanksgiving