Perfect Gravy

3 cups

The three keys to perfect gravy: use all the fowl parts, use a fat separator and make a slurry of flour and broth to eliminate lumps. Serve this gravy alongside a roasted turkey this Holiday season.


  • Giblets from the turkey: neck, heart, gizzard, and liver

  • 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped

  • 1 carrot, trimmed, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium leek, trimmed, cleaned and roughly chopped

  • 6 whole black peppercorns

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 ½ cups Madeira

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Make giblet broth while turkey is roasting. Trim any fat or membrane from giblets. Liver should not have gallbladder, a small green sac, attached. If it is, trim off, removing part of liver if necessary. Do not pierce sac; it contains bitter liquid. Rinse giblets, and pat dry.

  2. In medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add vegetables. Cook, stirring, until slightly brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add neck. Cook, stirring, until slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups water. Add heart, gizzard, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low; cook, uncovered, until broth is reduced to about 3 cups, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, chop liver finely. Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add liver; cook, stirring constantly, until liver is fully cooked and no longer releases blood, 4 to 6 minutes. Add to cooking giblet broth.

  4. Transfer roasted turkey to a large platter. Pour juices from pan into fat separator. Set aside to separate, about 10 minutes.

  5. Strain reserved broth. Return to saucepan, and warm over low heat. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Pour Madeira into measuring cup, then into pan, let bubble, and scrape bottom and sides of pan with wooden spoon to dislodge cooked-on bits.

  6. Make a slurry: Place flour in glass jar with tight-fitting lid. Ladle 1 cup broth into jar. Shake until combined. Slowly pour into roasting pan; stir to incorporate. Cook over medium heat, stirring until flour is cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir in remaining broth.

  7. Raise heat to medium high. Pour pan juices into fat separator; add dark drippings from bottom into roasting pan. Discard fat. Stir in rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 to 15 minutes to reduce and thicken. (For thicker gravy, add 1 more tablespoon flour, and reduce gravy to 2 1/2 cups in step 2.)

  8. Strain liquid from pan through very fine sieve. Adjust seasoning. Keep warm in heatproof bowl over pan of simmering water.

Cook's Notes

Use your favorite method to roast turkey, but do not use a nonstick pan or rack. This way, there will be more crispy, cooked-on bits, which add flavor to the gravy. You can make any fowl or meat this way.

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