If you want to learn how to make the best turkey gravy, this is the recipe you need to start with. This turkey neck gravy recipe is rich and almost a meal on its own. Growing up, I absolutely loved turkey giblet gravy. Like, I’d be the little Thanksgiving goblin sneaking spoonfuls of gravy while my dad wasn’t watching. I poured that gravy on EVERYTHING. While many gravies are smooth and without imperfections, I love giblet gravy for the little pieces of meat in it.
Now, personally, I am not a fan of the organ meat, so my turkey gravy relies on the necks–and lots of them–as the basis for my turkey gravy. If you make this recipe, feel free to brown the liver, gizzard, and heart with the turkey drippings before adding the turkey necks. Growing up, my dad only used the neck, heart, and gizzard for his gravy and he would finely chop it up with the shredded neck meat.
How to make the best turkey gravy:
For my recipe, I use the neck that comes with the turkey but I also grab a pack of turkey necks from the grocery store because I like my gravy extra meaty.
Arrange the necks on a baking sheet and drizzle all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven for 2 hours until nicely browned and completely cooked through.
From there, you want to cook everything–the necks and any organ meat you want in your gravy–in an aromatic water until very reduced. I simmered mine with a quartered onion, a whole head of garlic, and two sprigs of rosemary. The stock for the gravy will cook down to about 3 cups and it’s really rich and gelatinous!
Once the broth is ready, remove the necks and any organs you want in your gravy from the pot. Pick the meat from the necks and finely dice the organs, and set them aside.
Strain the liquid through a sieve and discard the solids. From there, you make a very basic gravy using the following steps:
Step 1: Start with a roux of butter and flour.
Step 2: Whisk the prepared stock into the roux and continue whisking until smooth. If needed, supplement with a little water depending on how salty the broth becomes while cooking.
Step 3: Add 2 thyme sprigs and all the neck and organ meat. Simmer for 10–15 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
That’s it! Serve the turkey giblet gravy immediately with your favorite roast turkey recipe, like my dry-brined turkey recipe.
It’s so rich and perfect for mashed potatoes or stuffing or homemade green bean casserole.
How-to: The Best Turkey Gravy
- Baking sheet
- 1½ pounds turkey necks
- Neck, heart, gizzard, and liver from one raw turkey, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- ½ cup flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Salt, pepper, and ground white pepper to taste
Roast the turkey necks:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Arrange the necks on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1½–2 hours until well-browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the broth:
- Place the necks and organs (heart, gizzard, or liver) you’d like in your gravy in a large pot. Place the onions, garlic, and rosemary on top. Cover with 6 cups of water and simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove the necks and giblets and transfer them to a bowl. Turn the broth’s heat to medium and rapid simmer for 15–20 minutes. You should be left with about 3 cups of broth.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard solids.
Prepare the meat:
- Once the giblets are cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the necks. Finely mince any of the organs you’d like in your gravy.
Prepare the gravy:
- Melt the butter into a saucepan. Once frothy, add the flour. Cook for 1–2 minutes until nutty and aromatic.
- Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the prepared broth to form a slurry. Continue whisking in the liquid in increments until the broth is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
- Add the 2 thyme sprigs and all of the neck and organ meat. Simmer over low heat for 10–15 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Turn off the heat and discard the thyme sprigs.
- Serve warm with your favorite turkey dinner. Enjoy!