Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on



  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tbsp Cognac or brandy
  • 10 large fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


  1. Base: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1½ minutes.
  2. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), and 1 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Make Ahead: Base can be made up to 4 days ahead. Pour into container, cover and chill.)
  3. Gravy: After the turkey is cooked, remove it to a carving board to rest while you finish the gravy. Place the roasting pan on the stove-top over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up all the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk the gravy base into the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.


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  • This was a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner. I was able to prepare this ahead, using a vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth, and then set aside a portion for one family member unable to eat meat. I followed the recipe to finish the gravy after the turkey roasted as described for everyone else – every one loved the gravy!!

    Peggy on
  • This is a great recipe. Made it a day ahead of Christmas dinner. So aromatic while cooking and so flavourful at dinner. Such a time saver as well.

    Kerrin on

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