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How to Make Turkey Gravy (With or Without Drippings)

 I want to deep-fry my turkey this year, but it will yield no gravy. Any suggestions on how to make/buy a nice gravy?

 There certainly is turkey gravy available right this very minute in jars at your supermarket. We assume you've conveniently chosen to ignore that fact. If that's the case, how serious are you about your gravy? If you were super-serious, you would make a home-made stock in advance, probably with chicken wings and pieces (on the assumption that you can't get turkey parts as easily). While your turkey is cooking you would concentrate the stock with the giblets (minus the liver, which tends to become bitter with long cooking) and vegetables. Then you would remove most of the fat from the drippings in the roasting pan, perhaps deglaze the pan with red wine, add a little thickener, strain the stock, season, mix well and make a splendid gravy.

What you're going to be missing is the dark, rich part of the drippings. That's not insignificant, but also not insurmountable. If your stock is flavorful and concentrated enough, we think you can turn out a great gravy without the drippings. There are several brands of turkey stock or turkey gravy base available online and in grocery stores that could help compensate for your lack of drippings.

Another option is to forego the traditional gravy entirely and head in a new direction. Christopher Kimball, author of The Cook's Bible (Canada, UK), says this is a great turkey sauce, even though it contains no turkey.

Simple Brown Sauce with Thyme
From The Cook's Bible (Canada, UK).

This is a quick, last-minute sauce that can be served with turkey. An immersion blender can be used to help thicken the sauce, although it is not necessary. This is a good sauce to use with leftovers and on other occasions when making a homemade stock is not practical.


2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and minced
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons brandy
1-1/2 cups beef stock, homemade or low-sodium
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the wine, brandy, stock, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid has been reduced by 50 percent. Add cornstarch to 1/3 cup water and stir until dissolved and smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into boiling stock. Simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: Makes about 1-3/4 cups

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