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Looking for an extra special gravy to make for this year’s holiday meal? Fear not–you can make this homemade giblet gravy to go with your roasted turkey this Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This special gravy takes longer to make then regular, but its rich flavor is worth every extra minute.
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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.
Our version of giblet gravy starts off by making a giblet stock with the heart, gizzard, and neck of the turkey. Give more flavor to the giblet stock by adding a sliced onion, one bay leaf, and a few sprigs of fresh spices like thyme, parsley, rosemary, or sage.
Next add the turkey fat and then make a roux from butter and flour. Pour in the turkey drippings, giblet stock. Add a bit of flavor with some more butter and a little bit of black pepper. Thin it out with some chicken stock, and then add the cooked, diced giblets.
How do you pronounce giblet?
Are you like me and have been pronouncing “giblets” incorrectly most of your life? The proper way to pronounce to “giblet” is with a soft g, like ji-blets. It is pronounced the same in the US and in the UK.
What are giblets?
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 impart 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.
How to can I thicken this recipe?
There are three main ways that home cooks thicken gravy. Our recipe uses the first method.
- With a roux of equal parts fat (butter, bacon grease, oil) to flour.
- With a slurry of warm water and flour whisked together.
- Cooking it with the lid off for 3 to 10 minutes over medium low heat.
What color should your roux be for this recipe?
Roux is a thickening agent made out of equal parts fat and flour. For gravy, you can use a white roux, which takes 5 minutes of whisking, or a blonde roux, which takes 10 to 15 minutes of whisking. A blonde roux will be tan in color, smell like toasted bread, and give you a darker gravy. For this recipe, we used a white roux, but if you’d like it to be darker, use a blonde roux.
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you most certainly can, but since it uses the turkey drippings, you’ll also need to roast your turkey ahead of time. If you’re planning on using your oven to cook other side dishes like cornbread dressing or casseroles, you’ll want your turkey to come out earlier in the day on Thanksgiving.
This keeps well in the fridge as long as it is covered. Reheat refrigerated gravy on top of the stove over medium low heat until it’s heated through. Add a little chicken stock or water to thin it out, if necessary.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Yes and no. It depends on the ingredients. Our version can be frozen for up to 4 months because it is thickened with a roux of butter and flour and contains no milk or cream.
If you choose to add milk or cream, freezing it won’t be an option as the milk will separate from the gravy when thawed. If you want to freeze it, wait for it to cool and freeze in an airtight container or a zip top freezer bag.
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 to get the consistency just right.
How to can I fix gravy problems?
- 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.
What are the calories for one serving?
For a 1/3 cup serving size, the calories would be 230. This recipe is low in carbs, sugars, and sodium. It also has vitamin A and iron in it. For more nutritional information, scroll to the bottom of the recipe card.
How do you make this kind of stock?
- Place the neck, heart, and gizzards in a small saucepan and cover with filtered water.
- Next, add the aromatics and spices. I added a yellow onion, fresh thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary, and a bay leaf.
- Cover the saucepan and bring it to a boil, then simmer for an hour while the turkey is roasting in the oven.
- Remove the giblets and neck and set aside.
- Strain the stock by pouring through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the aromatics and spices.
This recipe is most often made at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S. You can find it poured on top of the following holiday foods:
- Mashed potatoes
- Sliced turkey
- Cornbread dressing
- French bread stuffing
- Buttermilk biscuits
How to Make
Start by gathering the ingredients for the stock. Slice the onion, and rinse the fresh spices and the meat.
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 dried bay leaf on top of the gizzards.
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.
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.
Sauté the turkey neck and the sliced giblets in butter over medium heat for a few minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool, then chop the heart and gizzard into small pieces with a sharp knife, and pull the meat off the neck with your fingers. Set aside.
Once the roasted turkey is done cooking, place the turkey on a large cutting board and strain the pan drippings. Discard any bits that are in the strainer, then let the drippings cool. As it cools, the fat will rise to the top and separate from the drippings.
Remove the fat from the pan drippings carefully with a large spoon or ladle and place in a medium sized saucepan. Add butter, if necessary, to get 1/2 cup of fat.
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.
Over medium heat, gradually pour in 1/2 cup of giblet stock and 1 cup of turkey drippings into the roux, whisking constantly.
Whisk in two tablespoons of butter.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped giblets and turkey neck meat.
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.
Whisk in the liquid until it’s smooth. Taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Pour into a gravy boat if you’re feeling fancy or a 2 cup 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.
- 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 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.
- Don’t like the cooked giblets minced? Puree them in a food processor or blender with some homemade stock or chicken broth.
- 4-Cup Glass Measuring Cup: we love this measuring cup for pouring and measuring.
- Set of 3 Whisks: using these sturdy stainless steel whisks will help you make a smooth gravy.
- Set of 3 Metal Strainers: these rust-resistant strainers make straining liquids easy.
- 2-Quart Emeril Lagasse Saucepan: this heavy-bottomed saucepan is perfect for making gravy.
Giblet gravy is the perfect accompaniment to these other Thanksgiving classics.
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How to make homemade giblet gravy is an easy Southern Thanksgiving recipe. Use your turkey drippings, giblet stock, and cooked giblets to make this old fashioned gravy truly from scratch. This will be your family’s favorite gravy for holiday turkey and mashed potatoes!
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
- 1/2 cup turkey fat, skimmed from the top of the turkey drippings
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup turkey drippings
- 1/2 cup giblet stock
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cooked turkey giblets and neck meat, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 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 Tbsp 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 1/2 cups if you roasted a 14 pound turkey and poured in two cups of chicken stock. Place the cooked turkey on a cutting board. If you need a fail proof roasted turkey recipe click here for our recipe.
- 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 1/2 cup.
- Gradually add your flour to your turkey drippings 1 Tbsp 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 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/4 teaspoon.
- If needed, add low sodium chicken stock or filtered water to thin out your gravy.
- Taste, adjust seasonings, 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.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Boiled
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gravy, sauces, Thanksgiving
This post was originally published on September 22, 2017.