This post may contain affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.
The star of any Thanksgiving dinner is of course the turkey, but there’s a humble yet equally crucial player — turkey neck gravy (and one that our family has strong opinions about). Crafting the perfect turkey neck gravy begins with making a broth from the neck and giblets to release their deep flavors. This homemade broth, blended with the turkey drippings, are key to making a velvety, rich gravy. Drizzle it over your slices of turkey, ladle it onto mashed potatoes, or generously pour it onto your stuffing. Its rich, savory profile enhances the natural flavors of your feast, leaving your taste buds blissfully comatose on the proverbial sofa.
What is Turkey Neck Gravy
Turkey neck gravy is made by simmering the turkey neck and giblets to produce a flavorful stock which is then added to a homemade roux made from the turkey drippings. This rich gravy serves as an accompaniment to your Thanksgiving feast.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Don’t throw out the turkey neck and giblets. Instead turn them into a rich and delicious gravy.
In the printable recipe below, you can find a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
- Turkey Neck and Giblets: These are the parts that are often inside of the cavity of a whole turkey when you purchase it. Turkey neck and giblets are the lesser-known parts of a turkey that consist of the neck, heart, liver, and gizzard.
- Grilled or Roasted Turkey Drippings: When roasting or grilling your turkey be sure to save the drippings which are the flavorful fats and juices that collect at the bottom of the roasting pan as the turkey cooks.
- Broth or Stock: Using homemade or store-bought stock to simmer the giblet and turkey neck in will give it a head start on building deep flavor. You might be able to find turkey stock at your grocery store during the holidays, but a good-quality chicken stock will suffice.
- All-Purpose Flour: To make create a roux, or base of the gravy, use a thickening agent such as flour.
How to Make Turkey Neck Gravy
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: Straining the gravy is key to achieving a smooth, lump-free texture. Use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solids, leaving behind a silky gravy.
1. Make the Giblet and Neck Broth: Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and place them in a saucepan. To the pan add the broth and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer it for 1 hour to cook the meat and to make a giblet broth for the gravy. Strain the giblet and neck from the broth and set them aside.
2. Deglaze the Roasting Pan: Once the turkey is done cooking add a small amount of the broth to the roasting pan. Using a spatula or wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to gently dislodge the browned bits, stirring them into the liquid. Pour the deglazed turkey drippings into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour, a little bit of broth, and whisk until golden and it becomes a smooth paste, about 5 minutes.
3. Make the Gravy: Continue to add the giblet broth, a cup at a time, to the saucepan while whisking. Bring the gravy to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer the gravy for about 10 to 15 minutes.
What to Serve with Turkey Neck Gravy
Turkey neck gravy is a versatile and flavorful gravy that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Besides being the classic pairing for turkey, it is delicious on mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing, and rice. It can also be a tasty twist to the classic biscuits and gravy, or use it to create open-faced turkey sandwiches by pouring it over slices of turkey on bread or toast.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: Making turkey gravy ahead of time can save you a lot of last-minute stress on Thanksgiving day. Instead of the turkey drippings you can use another fat such as butter to make the roux. Make the gravy as directed and allow it to cool then store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the gravy on the stovetop. If you have captured the turkey drippings, add them at this point for deeper flavor. If it has become too thick, you can always thin it out with a bit of additional broth.
How to Store: Transfer the gravy to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator within 2 hours of making it. Properly sealed, it can last for up to 3-4 days. The turkey gravy can also be stored in the freezer in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Allow frozen gravy to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. You’ll need to whisk it a bit in the saucepan to get it back to it’s velvety texture, adding broth as needed.
How to Reheat: Gently reheat the gravy in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir regularly to avoid sticking or burning. Once the gravy is thoroughly heated, it’s ready to serve. Use caution when reheating the gravy in the microwave, as it can heat unevenly and create hot spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thin gravy is usually a result of too much broth or it needs more time simmering. Gravy thickens as it simmers over low to medium heat; ensure you’re allowing an adequate amount of time. If it is still to thin, you can whisk in more flour a tablespoon at a time.
Yes, turkey gravy will congeal once it has cooled.
Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Turkey Neck Gravy
- 1 Medium Saucepan (2.5 Quarts)
- 1 Medium Skillet
- drippings from grilled or roasted turkey
- turkey giblets and neck
- 2 cups turkey, chicken, or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small saucepan add the giblets and neck from a raw turkey and cover with broth. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 1 hour to cook the meat and to make a giblet broth for the gravy.
- Remove the giblet and neck from the saucepan. Strain and reserve the giblet broth.
- Add some of the broth to the roasting pan and using a spatula or wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan. Gently dislodge the browned bits, stirring them into the liquid.
- Pour the deglazed turkey drippings into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour, a little bit of broth, and cook, whisking until golden and it makes a smooth paste, about 5 minutes.
- Continue adding the giblet broth, a cup at a time, while whisking. Bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking often.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the gravy for about 10 to 15 minutes.