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Thanksgiving Turkey Stock and Gravy

If you want to be a hero on Thanksgiving, nailing a homemade turkey stock is key. This is what makes stuffing extra delicious and creates a truly rich and delicious gravy (more so than pan drippings).

Make this stock on Tuesday or Wednesday night prior to Thanksgiving. It will make the whole house smell great early on and ensure you have this stock ready to go for recipes on Thanksgiving day.

Turkey Stock Ingredients

  • Backbone from spatchcocked turkey plus neck and wing tips
  • 1/2 lb whole carrots (about 3), unpeeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 large onion, roughly peeled and washed, chopped into chunks
  • Celery trimmings from one bunch (bottoms, tops, leaves, and core, just not root end)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, halved with or without peel
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • Sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage (or 1 tsp dried of each)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 cups water
Turkey Stock Directions
  • In a large stock pot, heat up oil over medium heat. Add the turkey parts and brown. You want parts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer overnight.
  • Remove the large turkey and vegetable parts with thongs then pour the stock into a bowl or pitcher through a wire mesh sieve to separate out any remaining chunks.
  • If desired, allow the stock to rest for the fat to float to the top and spoon out or use a fat separator.
Gravy Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2-4 cups turkey stock depending on how thick or thin you want it
  • Heart and gizzard from turkey giblets (optional)
Gravy Directions
  • Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly.
  • Add 1/2 cup of stock and whisk until there are no lumps. Add 1/2 cup more and whisk again until smooth.
  • Add one more cup, whisk, and simmer until thickened. Either stop there or add more stock to thin out.
  • Serve from the saucepan or pour into a gravy boat.
  • If you want a chunky gravy, sauté the heart and gizzard the butter or oil first. Then remove and dice into chunks. Follow the directions above and add the chunks to the gravy at the end.