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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Updated on December 15, 2012
4.7 stars from 6 ratings of Make Ahead Gravy

One of the most stressful parts of preparing a turkey dinner, is trying to pull off a decent gravy. Most of the work happens at the end of the cooking process, when you are worrying about finishing off those vegetable dishes, like mashing the potatoes. Not to mention carving the bird.

Gravy is more like a science than an art. The trick is to get it the right consistency, in a suitable quantity, all while maintaining the turkey flavor. Chef Jamie Oliver has long touted the benefits of making the gravy ahead of time. I used his recipe as inspiration, and decided to give it a try.

The results were fantastic. Although it uses chicken drumsticks, instead of turkey, the flavors are almost identical. The house smells fabulous to boot!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 10 min
Yields: About 4 cups of gravy


  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Ready to go into the oven.
Ready to go into the oven.
After Roasting.  Smells fabulous!
After Roasting. Smells fabulous!
Flour and Water added.
Flour and Water added.
After 45 minutes.  Ready to strain.
After 45 minutes. Ready to strain.
Finished Product
Finished Product


  1. Arrange everything except the last 3 ingredients in a roasting pan. Be sure to be generous with the salt and pepper. Roast in a 400F oven for 1 hour.
  2. If possible place roasting pan on stove over 2 elements over low heat. Take a potato masher and crush the ingredients to allow the flavor to come out. Add 4 tablespoons of flour and slowly stir and scrap the good bits off the bottom of the pan. The longer you cook the flour, the darker the gravy will be. If you have a ceramic top stove like I do, transfer the ingredients to a large dutch oven to continue, if you are not able to cook across two burners.
  3. Add 8 cups of water, and raise the heat to a low boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 25 minutes more. Mash with the potato masher occasionally. Add the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce during this stage.
  4. Strain several times to ensure no particles in the gravy. Use the back of a ladle to push the gravy through the strainer. Taste, and season with salt if required. Pour into a large zip locked freezer bag, and lay flat in the freezer until required.
  5. Heat on low heat to serve. Add fresh pan drippings and juice from turkey just before serving.
  6. Optional- stir in 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce into gravy for a subtle background flavor.


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    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a very inexpensive, easy way to make gravy. The whole house smells fabulous too!!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Making turkey gravy with chicken drumsticks, huh? Very interesting. I never thought of doing that brfore. Thanks a lot for this delightful recipe. Voted up and pinned!