Making gravy from turkey drippings is an essential part of preparing a delicious holiday meal. The time to start your gravy is while your roast turkey recipe is resting before being carved. (We recommend the Pakkawood Carving Knife and Fork Set, $59 at Sur la Table.) Your cooked bird should rest outside the oven for 15 to 20 minutes before you slice into it, so you have plenty of time to complete the easy steps of your homemade turkey gravy.
Use the Turkey Drippings
After moving the turkey from the roasting pan to a cutting board for carving, pour the pan drippings from your roasting pan into a large glass measuring cup or fat separator like the OXO Good Grips Fat Separator, $9.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond. Be sure to scrape the browned turkey bits from the pan into the cup—they're full of flavor.
Skim the Fat and Reserve
Skim and reserve the fat from the drippings. Pour ¼ cup of fat into a 2-quart saucepan or skillet with sides. Discard any remaining fat.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you don't have ¼ cup fat from your drippings, add melted butter to make ¼ cup.
Make a Roux and Cook the Turkey Gravy
Making a smooth turkey gravy from scratch requires a smooth turkey gravy roux. For that you'll need equal parts fat and flour. Stir in ¼ cup all-purpose flour into your reserved fat in the saucepan.
Add enough chicken broth to the remaining drippings in the measuring cup to equal 2 cups of total liquid. Gradually add the broth mixture to the flour mixture in the saucepan while whisking to keep the roux smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly—this cooks away the raw flour flavor. Then cook and stir 1 minute more.
Serve and Season the Gravy
Strain the gravy by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve into a serving dish. This is an optional step but is handy for those who prefer a silkier, lump-free gravy. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
This tried-and-true process to make a classic gravy recipe is a great way to impress your guests when hosting your next Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering. Be ready to pass that gravy boat around again to pour on second helpings of turkey and mashed potatoes.