Roasted Turkey and Make-Ahead Gravy, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Make-Ahead Gravy

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 cups
You can make this gravy a couple days or the day before, then deglaze your roasting pan from your whole turkey the day of and add it to this delicious gravy. I often make this when it isn’t the season because this tasty gravy is thickened with vegetables instead of flour, cornstarch or other heavy ingredients. There is really no need for that. I know it sounds a bit odd to put your gravy in a blender. In fact, I recommend blending at low speed so the texture is smooth but you don’t whip too much air into it. It’s not a milkshake after all! But we want gravy with good thickness. Feel free to adjust with a splash of stock to thin it out or a pinch of salt to pump up the flavor!



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Get ready: In the bottom of a roasting pan, arrange the onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Give them a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a rack on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and brush it with oil to help prevent the wings/legs from sticking. Arrange the turkey wings or legs on the rack above the vegetables and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the center of the oven to cook.
  3. Cook: Roast the turkey parts until the juices run clear (meaning free of any traces of blood) or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the wings/legs registers 160 to 165 degrees F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and place the pan directly on 2 burners of the stove.
  4. Build the gravy: Remove the rack from the pan and move the wings to the roasting pan. Move the garlic halves to a plate. Add the sherry to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the liquid until only a thin layer remains, then whisk in the mustard. Add the bay leaves, if using, and 4 cups of the stock. Simmer gently over medium-low heat until the liquid reduces by about half, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the vinegar. Remove the turkey wings or legs and pick the meat off the bones and reserve. Discard the bay leaves, if used.
  5. Finish: Transfer about half of the liquid to a blender. Hold the garlic halves like lemon halves over the blender and “squeeze” the flesh from the peels, allowing the garlic “meat” to fall into the blender. Blend on low speed until smooth. Add the cooked onions, celery and carrots and blend again until smooth. Transfer to a medium pot. If too thick, simmer with some additional stock. Taste for seasoning. Add the picked turkey meat to the gravy to give it texture and added meaty flavor. Let it cool to room temp, then transfer to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  6. To reheat, add the gravy to a medium pot or roasting pan a turkey was cooked in and place over medium heat. Whisk and thin to desired consistency with stock and or pan drippings from a roasted turkey. Bring to a simmer, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.