This Make Ahead Gluten Free Turkey Gravy is essential for a stress-free Thanksgiving. Made with roasted turkey wings, it has all the taste without the last-minute fuss.
I’m not usually the gravy maker in my family for Thanksgiving. Not that I can’t make it, but we almost always go to my mom and dad’s for Thanksgiving (their kitchen has been remodeled and ours is very small), so my mom is the one who makes the gravy after roasting the turkey. There have been a few times that we’ve brought a smoked turkey (which is so good by the way–I’ll have to share it on the blog one day), but even then my mom would make the gravy.
But this year I really wanted to try my hand at this make ahead gravy because it allows for my mom to not have to stand there at the stove whisking gravy right before we eat. Plus, it sounded so easy and just as delicious, I wanted to make sure it could be made gluten free with cornstarch (that’s what my mom uses so I can still enjoy the gravy, too). This make ahead method is so brilliant and has a TON of flavor that it gets from roasting the turkey wings with the veggies before making the stock. It does take a little time to make the stock, but it’s almost all hands-off time so doing this days before (or even weeks if you freeze it) is a no brainer!
What You’ll Need
- Turkey wings
- Onion — you won’t usually see onions in any recipes from me, BUT for this recipe the onion just adds a little savory flavor and is strained out of the stock, so no chunks of yucky onion end up in the gravy, haha!
- Salt and pepper to taste
Let’s Make the Gravy
To make the gravy, we first have to make the turkey stock. This is such a flavorful turkey stock and it gets most of its flavor from roasting everything in the oven before cooking it on the stovetop.
Make the Turkey Stock
- Place the turkey wings, quartered onion, garlic cloves, carrots, and celery in a Dutch oven. Roast at 375 degrees F for 2 hours, uncovered.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Over medium high heat add water, scraping up any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, occasionally skimming foam if it accumulates, and simmer for one hour.
- Strain the stock into a large bowl and refrigerate it for at least two hours or overnight.
- Skim any fat that has solidified on top of the stock. The stock will have gelled in the fridge overnight. This is perfectly normal and is just a sign of collagen (which is always a good thing).
Turn the Stock into Gravy
- In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously for a minute or two.
- Add the turkey stock and continue whisking to break up any of the gelling. As it heats, the gel will melt.
- Bring the gravy to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until thickened. If you find the gravy is too thick, add water to thin it out (start with just a half a cup or so at first). The gravy will thicken further as it cools down.
Make Ahead Gravy FAQs
It can be kept in the fridge for a few days (3-4 max). Beyond that, it’s best to freeze it.
Yes! You can freeze the gravy for up to four months. Gently reheat over a low setting.
Yes! In fact, make the turkey thicker and put it in the freezer. On Turkey Day, add any drippings from the turkey and if it’s too thick, add water to thin it out.
Save yourself some time by preparing this Make Ahead Gluten Free Turkey Gravy well in advance of the main day. It really is so easy and delicious and will be a stress-free blessing!
Make Ahead Gluten Free Turkey Gravy
- 2 turkey wings
- 2 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, chopped into large chunks
- 1 medium white onion, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6 cups (1.4l) water
- 5 tbsp (71 g) butter
- ⅓ cup (40 g) cornstarch (arrowroot may be used in substitution, but hasn't been tested)
- salt & pepper to taste
Make the Turkey Stock
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Place turkey wings, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in a large Dutch oven or pot. Bake, uncovered, for 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and add water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered, skimming any foam that collects on the surface.
- Strain the stock over a large mesh sieve that's been lined with cheesecloth (a coffee filter will also work in a pinch). You should have about 4 cups of stock. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. When set, remove any fat that's accumulated on top with a spoon. At this point, the turkey stock can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for several months before making the gravy.
Make the Gravy
- When ready to make the gravy, melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the cornstarch and whisk continuously for about 1 minute. Whisk in the turkey stock, which will have gelled and will need to melt again.
- Bring the gravy to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer and whisk until the gravy thickens, about 5 minutes. If it's too thick, you can add water to desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in fridge for a few days or freezer for a few months.
Adapted from Butter Your Biscuit