[RECIPE] It's All Gravy, Baby

Photo: Gaelle Marcel via Unsplash

My Dad likes to say that Gravy is his favorite food. When I was a kid, I thought this was a ridiculous choice for a favorite. I mean, gravy is liquid! And boring! Right?

Now, many years and hundreds of meals later, I think I finally get the appeal of this earthy, understated sauce. Gravy is truly the heart of a meal, reduced to a golden liquid that highlights and enriches everything else piled on your plate. It's the glitter, the pillow mint, the CHERRY on your Thanksgiving dinner table. A good gravy makes the whole meal sing.

We asked friend of Sip Better Chef Mike Shannon for his classic gravy recipe and are happy to pass it on to you, right here. Please enjoy, and don't forget the wine!

In Chef Mike's own words: Great gravy—that velvety, luscious, flavorful glaze—is about two things: Texture and flavor. The texture is just a balance of ratios, fat to flour to liquid. The flavor starts with great stock. Make your own if you can. If not, use high quality, unsalted stock—not broth. The recipe below will start with whatever stock you choose and infuse it with rich turkey essence so you can coax the ultimate flavor out of your pan drippings.

by Chef Mike Shannon
Makes about 6 cups

Turkey neck and giblets from turkey cavity
1 Small onion, medium chopped
1 Carrot, medium chopped
1 Stalk of celery, medium chopped
2 Quarts unsalted chicken stock
2 Tablespoons sherry or white wine
4 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 Cup  flour
Salt and Pepper


- Place all of the turkey parts in a 4 quart sauce pan with a splash of oil and sauté over medium high heat until lightly browned.

- Add the onion, carrot and celery to the sauce pan and cook for 3 minutes more.

- Add stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour or until liquid is reduced to about 6 cups of liquid.

- Strain and return to sauce pan and keep warm. This can be done up to 3 days ahead, just rewarm prior to making gravy.

- On Thanksgiving Day, once you have transferred your bird to a carving board, place the roasting pan on top of range and reduce excess moisture from the fat.

- Deglaze the pan with sherry or white wine, stirring well to loosen all brown bits from sides of pan.

- Add butter as necessary to achieve about 1/3 cup total of fat and melt completely.

- Sprinkle the flour over the fat and cook about 3 – 4 minutes over medium heat, whisking continuously.

- Slowly add warm stock to the roasting pan slowly, working in batches, whisking to blend each addition completely.

- Simmer for 6 – 10 minutes to desired thickness.

- Taste, adjust seasoning and serve!


—Emily Rentsch

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