There’s no denying that the secret to a memorable turkey gravy lies in its base: a rich, flavorful stock. Once you’ve made your own turkey stock, there’s no going back to the store-bought stuff.
Turkey Stock for Gravy
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without the quintessential turkey gravy to drizzle over tender slices of turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and stuffing. While there are many gravy recipes out there, there’s something special about using a family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. Today, I’m sharing a treasured recipe from my mom—her signature Turkey Stock for Turkey Gravy. It’s delicious!
Why This Works
- Meal Prep: I make this turkey stock recipe a week or two ahead and keep it frozen in mason jars. It’s one less thing to do on Thanksgiving Day!
- Flavorful: The best stock is a homemade one. Nothing beats the rich taste of stock that’s simmered for hours. It really does make all the difference.
- Easy: While making stock from scratch when you could buy it from the store may sound complicated, it’s quite simple. All you have to do is throw some turkey, vegetables, and herbs in a pot of water and let it simmer.
- One Pot: The whole thing is made in one pot!
- Turkey: Use two turkey wings, one turkey drumstick, or the giblets and neck from the turkey.
- Vegetables: Onion, celery
- Herbs: Fresh sage and parsley
- Chicken Bouillon is an easy way to flavor your broth with only one ingredient.
How to Make Turkey Stock
- Simmer: Place all the ingredients into a large Dutch oven or pot and fill it to the top with water. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for four to five hours.
- Taste the stock to see if it’s concentrated enough, and add salt. If it doesn’t have enough flavor, continue simmering it.
- Strain the Stock: Discard the turkey, bones, and vegetables and strain the stock through a mesh sieve.
What’s the difference between turkey broth and turkey stock?
The main difference is that turkey stock uses bones, and broth doesn’t. Stock simmers for longer and has a richer flavor and darker color than broth.
What is the secret to good gravy?
The secret to a good turkey gravy is using high-quality turkey stock. Generally, homemade stock has better flavor than anything you’ll buy at the supermarket. That’s why I think making turkey stock from scratch is worth the time and effort.
Should you use the skin when making turkey stock?
Yes, the skin adds to the flavor. When making stock, use the bones, skin, and meat. Once simmered, you will discard it. Once the stock is chilled, you can easily remove the fat.
How to Use Turkey Stock
Turkey stock is excellent for turkey gravy, and I use it when I make my mom’s turkey gravy and my flourless gravy. It’s also a wonderful flavor booster for any homemade soup, like this Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup, or Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup.
Cool the liquid to room temperature and then transfer it to storage containers. Refrigerate it for three to four days or freeze it for up to three months. Once cold, remove the fat and discard it.
Turkey Stock Recipe Notes
- If you prefer a richer stock, you can roast the wings and vegetables first, like I did for this low-carb turkey gravy.
- This stock is low in salt because I add the salt to the gravy later. If you want to use this for soup, adjust the salt to taste.
- You can also make this stock with leftover turkey and/or turkey carcass if making this for soup.
More Thanksgiving Recipes You’ll Love
- Stuffing Muffins
- Green Beans with Mushrooms
- Scalloped Potato Gratin
- Cranberry Sauce
- Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping
Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe
- Dutch Oven or Large Pot
- 2 turkey wings , or 1 turkey drumstick, or the giblets and neck from the turkey
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 4 celery stalks, cut in half
- small bunch fresh sage
- 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 chicken bouillon , such as Maggi
- Place all the ingredients in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven or soup pot and fill with 10 to 12 cups water (fill it to the top). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low 4 to 5 hours.
- After 4 to 5 hours, taste the stock. If it’s concentrated enough for your liking, add salt to taste (I usually add salt when I make the gravy).
- Discard the turkey, bones and vegetables and strain the stock through a mesh sieve.
- Allow the stock to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to storage containers (I use 3 large glass mason jars). It can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When cold, separate the fat and discard.