If you have ever wondered what to do with your giblets, this recipe for homemade giblet gravy is your answer. It's a delicacy that is rich, velvety, and flavorful, and will take your Thanksgiving turkey or mashed potatoes to the next level.
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Giblet gravy is gravy made with the giblets of a turkey or chicken. The giblets can be boiled or sautéed in a frying pan, then finely chopped or pureed and added to the gravy.
Giblet gravy can be made from homemade giblet stock and turkey pan drippings instead of just chicken broth for additional flavor. It can also be thickened with a roux of fat and flour or a slurry of cornstarch and warm water. Southern giblet gravies have a chopped boiled egg added at the end.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's made with giblet stock. This recipe starts by using the heart, gizzard, and neck of the turkey. A sliced onion and fresh herbs, are also added to give more flavor to the homemade giblet stock.
- It's made with a roux. Turkey fat and butter are whisked together with flour to make a roux.
- It has fried giblets: Saute the heart, gizzard and turkey neck in butter for a few minutes for additional flavor.
- It builds layers of flavor. Add the turkey drippings, butter, and minced, sauteed giblets to the giblet stock.
Let's take a look at some of the key ingredients for our homemade giblet gravy. The photo above is a shot of the giblet stock ingredients.
- Meat: We used turkey giblets (heart and gizzard), but you can also use chicken giblets. We also used the turkey's neck.
- Aromatics: We used sliced yellow onion to flavor the giblet stock.
- Fresh Herbs: We used parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary and a bay leaf.
- Dairy: We used salted butter to saute the heart, gizzard, and turkey neck and also to add more fat and flavor to the giblet gravy.
- Other Flavors: We used fat and drippings from a roasted turkey.
How to Make
- Place the neck, heart, and gizzards in a small saucepan, then pour the cold filtered water over the gizzards. Place the sliced onion, fresh spices, and the bay leaf on top, then cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat down to medium low and let the stock simmer covered for an hour while the turkey is roasting in the oven.
- With a large spoon, remove aromatics, spices, neck, and giblets. Discard the aromatics and spices, but keep the neck and giblets. Strain the stock by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the stock for the gravy.
3. To finish cooking the meat, fry the heart, gizzard, and turkey neck in butter for a few minutes. Set aside to cool, then slice the gizzard and heart.
4. Make the roux. Set the pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to the turkey drippings, whisking constantly. Traditionally, a roux is equal parts flour to fat, but you can make it thinner or thicker as desired.
To have a nice brown gravy, cook the roux until it's a darker color. This will take roughly four minutes of constant whisking so the flour doesn't burn.
5. Over medium heat, gradually pour in ½ cup of giblet stock and 1 cup of turkey drippings into the roux, whisking constantly. Whisk in two tablespoons of butter.
6. Add ½ cup of chopped giblets and turkey neck meat.
7. Add in some freshly cracked black pepper. Simmer uncovered for 3 to 10 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally, to thicken it. Add more homemade stock, low sodium chicken stock, or filtered water to thin out the gravy until it's the desired consistency.
8. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Pour into a gravy boat if you're feeling fancy or a glass measuring cup if you're being casual.
This recipe will thicken up a little bit while it sits, so if you don't like it thick, make it a little thinner. Enjoy over your favorite sliced roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade cornbread stuffing, or buttermilk biscuits.
The next time you roast a turkey, take the time to make homemade giblet gravy. It is the perfect finishing touch for mashed potatoes and sliced turkey during the holidays.
Giblets are the edible organs of a chicken, turkey, or duck that butchers put in a sealed bag in the body or neck cavity of a bird. Don't throw that bag out! Giblets can bring a deep flavor to gravies, stuffing, and stocks for soups. The most common parts you'll find in your bag will be the neck, heart, and gizzard. You may also find the kidneys and the liver. Make sure to cook the giblets to 165°F to ensure safe eating.
You can use giblets for gravies, pasta sauces or side dishes like stuffing. Make sure to remove the tough, silver-colored tissue connecting the 2 muscles of the gizzard. You can also batter and fry up the heart or liver and eat it as a snack.
The most common way is to cover the giblets (not the liver) with 2 inches of water and bring to a gentle boil at medium heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until the meat is cooked. You can also pan fry the giblets in butter or deep fry them in oil.
They have a deep, rich, dark meaty taste. They add a unique depth of flavor to gravies, pasta sauces and side dishes.
- Lumpy? Use a sieve to strain out lumps.
- Too thick? Add giblet broth, turkey drippings broth, chicken broth or filtered water until it's the desired consistency.
- Too pale? Cook the roux longer when you make it. A blonde roux cooks for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Too thin? Mix equal amounts of flour and water in a separate bowl, then add to the gravy and cook until thickened.
This recipe is most often made at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S. You can find it poured on top of mashed potatoes, sliced turkey, cornbread and French bread stuffing, buttermilk biscuits, and roasted vegetables.
- Make Ahead: You can prep the giblet stock and mince up the giblets the day before.
- Leftovers: This keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days as long as it is covered.
- Freeze: Yes and no. It depends on the ingredients. Our version can be frozen for up to 3 months because it is thickened with a roux of butter and flour and contains no milk or cream.
- Reheat: When ready to use, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Add one or two tablespoons of chicken broth when reheating it in a saucepan over medium heat to get the consistency just right.
- Want a variation? Add bit of cream instead of butter for a richer tasting gravy.
- Don't want to make a roux? Use a slurry of flour and cold water.
- Want it Southern? Add a chopped or sliced boiled egg just before serving.
- Want to add the liver? Never boil the liver, as it is very strong tasting. Just sauté in butter or bacon fat for a richer flavor, then dice.
- Need a bit of color? Add some chopped pimentos at the very end along with the chopped boiled egg.
- Want to thin it? Use homemade stock, filtered water, or low sodium chicken broth.
- Want a different base fat for your stock? Use bacon grease to saute the celery, onion, carrots.
- Add warm liquid (stock) to the roux; it will help it incorporate better with less lumps.
- Don't like the cooked giblets minced? Puree them in a food processor or blender with some homemade stock or chicken broth.
- Taste the gravy before serving. If necessary, adjust with dry spices: salt, black pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme. Or add more fat: with a pat of butter or splash of heavy cream.
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How to Make Homemade Giblet Gravy
For the Giblet Stock
- turkey neck, heart, and gizzard
- bay leaf, optional
- 1 medium onion sliced, optional
- 4 sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage or parsley (optional)
For the Gravy
- ½ cup turkey fat, skimmed from the top of the turkey drippings
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup turkey drippings
- ½ cup giblet stock
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cooked turkey giblets and neck meat, chopped
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth, reserve to thin the gravy
Making the Giblet Stock
- Rinse the heart, gizzard and turkey neck.
- Place in a medium sized saucepan and cover with 2 cups of filtered water.
- Optional: add the sliced onion, bay leaf and three or four sprigs of fresh spices
- Bring to a boil then simmer for one hour.
Finishing the Meat
- If the giblets aren't cooked enough, fry them in 2 tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Dice the cooked giblets (heart and gizzard) and chop the turkey neck meat and transfer to a bowl.
Making the Roux
- Pour the turkey drippings into a medium bowl. You should have 1 ½ cups if you roasted a 14 pound turkey and poured in two cups of chicken stock. Place the cooked turkey on a cutting board.
- Separate the fat from the turkey drippings by letting it sit for a while. The fat will rise to the top.
- Put the fat into a medium saucepan over medium heat. If there isn't enough turkey fat from your cooked turkey, add butter until you have ½ cup.
- Gradually add your flour to your turkey drippings 1 tablespoon at a time while whisking. You will want a paste that isn't too greasy. Once you're happy with the consistency of your roux, cook it while whisking for 4 minutes or until your roux is a brownish color. If you want a darker gravy, cook your roux longer.
Finishing the Gravy
- Gradually pour in the ½ cup of giblet stock into the roux while whisking constantly until smooth. Continue adding the 1 cup of turkey drippings to get the gravy to the right consistency.
- Add two tablespoons of butter and stir.
- Next, stir in your ½ cup of chopped, cooked giblet and turkey neck meat.
- Simmer for 3 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to thicken the gravy.
- Add a bit more black pepper, roughly ¼ teaspoon.
- If needed, add low sodium chicken stock or filtered water to thin out your gravy.
- Taste, adjust seasonings, salt, black pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme, butter, if necessary and pour into a gravy boat.
- Use giblet stock, filtered water, or low sodium chicken broth to thin your gravy.
- Use bacon grease to saute the celery, onion, carrots if you want a different fat base.
- Puree the cooked giblets in a food processor or blender with some giblet stock or chicken broth to change the texture.
- Add warm liquid (stock) to the roux it will help it incorporate better with less lumps
- Taste the gravy before serving, if necessary, adjust with dry spices: salt, black pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme. Or add more fat: with a pat of butter or heavy cream.
Our homemade giblet gravy was originally published on August 2, 2019 and was updated with new content and resized photos on October 10, 2022.