Thanksgiving Week: The Best Gravy You’ll Ever Taste

Welcome to Day Two of Thanksgiving week!

In my life, as my arteries can attest to, I have tasted many different gravies. Quite a few are awful. Some are passable. A few have been good. Only one has been excellent – this one.

I can not imagine making a turkey without having this gravy. In fact, in my recipe software (Paprika) has the gravy recipe imbedded in the turkey one.

This rich, dark, flavorful gravy is made from the turkey drippings, butter and burgundy wine.

For those that don’t eat gizzards as a normal course, don’t worry – they are only here to simmer the turkey flavor out of them.

While the turkey is cooking, it is time to start the gravy.

A key to this gravy is making a roux with flour and fat from the drippings. I like Wondra flour as it is very smooth.

Making good gravy is a matter of patience. Adding the liquids a little at a time and scraping the pan back and forth continually will give you a thicker, more flavorful gravy.

As a kid, this job would fall to my brother and I. For the 30 minutes the turkey was out of the oven before the dinner was served, we’d be making the gravy. I disliked the chore but loved the gravy.

You’ll know when it is ready to serve when you scrape the pan and it takes a second or two for the gravy to fill in where you scraped.

Red Wine Gravy


  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 to 3 Medium Onions
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Dash Bitters
  • 6 Tablespoons (or so) of Flour


While the turkey is cooking (at least two hours prior to removal from the oven) boil two cups of water. Add two stalks of celery, 1 medium onion (chopped), bay leaves, salt, bitters and the gizzards (except the liver) and simmer uncovered for 100 minutes. Add the liver and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Strain the simmering gizzards, retaining the liquid and discarding the solids. Drain off the liquids from the “resting” turkey. Separate the fat from the meat juices using a turkey baster, keeping both liquids. Add gizzard liquid to the meat juices and add enough water to make 4 cups of liquid.

Place 6 teaspoons of fat in the turkey pan and heat over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in the 6 tablespoons of flour. Stir to remove the lumps. Add the liquid and stir over higher heat until the gravy thickens. Serve immediately.

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Categories: Condiment, kosher, Recipes, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Turkey, Wine

Author:The Ranting Chef

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19 Comments on “Thanksgiving Week: The Best Gravy You’ll Ever Taste”

  1. May 30, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Yes indeed. I’ve been a master of gravy for turkey for a number of years now. And now that we do Thanksgiving with friends, we’ve discovered a stuffing that is superb. It includes pate, sausage, and all sorts of vegetable goodness.


  2. May 30, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I do like a well made gravy.


  3. May 30, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    We’ll be trying this one – don’t do thanksgiving here but think the gravy would be great for a large chicken anyway.


  4. May 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    And I drool.


    • June 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      We have had Christmas with family twice in the past 6 years. I usulaly do a turkey as well just b/c I love it. My big tip is to roast it upside down. The breast meat will be moist b/c it’ll self-baste that way. Turn it face up for the last 30 min or so to get the colour/crisp on the skin. Good luck!


  5. May 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    The gravy looks really tasty. I’ll consider celebrating thanksgiving just to have an excuse to eat that gravy:)


    • June 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      My turkey’s turn out great, rsetoad one for Thanksgiving in my roaster, just put some butter on it, seasoned it, and put in the roaster and let it do it’s job .it is great, and makes a wonderful, moist turkey But can do the same thing if you don’t have a roaster, by just using a bag


  6. May 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I always, always make giblet gravy with my sister’s superb recipe. Not this year… This is definitely a keeper! I’m thinking that we will have Thanksgiving in Jordan just as soon as you finish posting all the recipes!


  7. May 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    bookmarking this! everyone loves my gravy I make during the holidays. This one should blow their socks off.


  8. May 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    you give us hope – gravy is one of our waterloos as they say…


  9. May 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I’m a gravy lovin fool! This looks delicious and I’ll have to have a little “Thankful” meal soon to try it. One thing I didnt mention is that when I roast the bird,instead of putting it on a rack I line the pan with a bit of chopped carrots,celery and onions (and some times a little thyme). These veggies will caramelize on the bottom, so they give a nice flavor. I just use the stick blender to incorporate them into the gravy.
    I’m not sure how this will be with the burgundy et all, but it’s worth a try!


  10. May 31, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Love a good gravy and I like how you mentioned your apprehension as a kid when you ‘had’ to make the gravy and I bet you’re very glad that you learnt that now!


  11. June 1, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    That does look like a good gravy 😀


  12. June 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I learned this from a follew firefighter friend . take out the nasty stuff ( I know some people like it NOT me ) then rinse and stuff with onion and celery all in his insides, bake uncovered till you can pull his leg off . Now thats a tasty turkey oh, and it definitely has to be a butterball !


  13. Debbie
    July 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Where is the Red Wine??? Are you referring to the wine as the “bitters”? Otherwise, I see no where mentioned about red wine?


    • July 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

      The red wine comes from the basting of the turkey. So the “meat juices” actually contains quite a bit of wine. Take a look at the turkey recipe to see it.



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