Looking for an easy, make-ahead gravy recipe that's full of flavor with minimal fuss? You're in the right place. Here's how to make a savory and fabulous turkey neck gravy without drippings.
Why this recipe works
Let me just start by saying this: Turkey neck? Yeah, I KNOW. (And I don't mean this.) If you'd simply rather not deal, you can try our super-popular vegetarian gravy, which is also make-ahead friendly and works beautifully with the whole Thanksgiving meal. Or just go ahead and make a regular pan gravy for your turkey.
But otherwise, stay with me for a sec. This gravy:
- Is full of savory turkey flavor
- Can be made as far in advance as you begin to defrost your turkey
- Doesn't require making stock beforehand
- Is hands-off once you get it rolling
Many recipes for giblet gravy have you start with the separate process of making stock, which is great if you're into that sort of thing but really not necessary to make a great-tasting make-ahead gravy. We've streamlined the process by using just the neck (which is full of flavor but not complicated to work with) and simmering the gravy itself for a full hour.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make turkey neck gravy without drippings.
- You'll find the turkey neck tucked inside the large cavity of your Thanksgiving turkey. It's a great way to infuse a robust turkey flavor into your gravy.
- A good low-sodium chicken broth works well here, or use homemade turkey stock
- Marmite is an English condiment that's full of umami. It's made from yeast extract. Vegemite is a similar product from Australia. You won't taste these ingredients — they'll just contribute to a depth of flavor.
- Low-sodium soy sauce adds another layer of umami
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make a flavorful batch of gravy. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get the details in the recipe card below.
- Melt the butter in a medium pot and sauté the shallot.
- Add the turkey neck and cook, turning once in a while, until lightly browned on both sides. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for a minute or two.
- Pour in the broth along with the soy sauce, marmite or vegemite, salt, and pepper. Whisk very well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for an hour. You can cook it covered for part of the time and uncovered for part of the time to control how much it thickens. Your gravy is ready to use.
Expert tips and FAQs
As soon as you buy your fresh turkey or start defrosting a frozen one, you can make this gravy. Once it's cool, you can keep it tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to a year. Defrost if frozen and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. It doesn't need any special treatment.
Marmite and vegemite are both yeast extracts that have a deep umami flavor. Folks in England use marmite and in Australia use vegemite to spread on toast. They're very intensely flavored when you eat them that way. But when you add a teaspoon to a large batch of gravy, you don't end up tasting it per se. It just adds a lovely depth of flavor that complements the meatiness of the turkey and traditional Thanksgiving sides.
How to serve it
Use this gravy as you'd expect. It's fabulous on turkey and all the Thanksgiving trimmings:
And if you're feeling resourceful and want to make a batch after Thanksgiving to freeze, you can use it any time of year. Try it, for example, on rotisserie or roast chicken.
- Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced shallot and cook for a minute or so, whisking once or twice. Place the turkey neck into the pot and continue cooking, turning occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Add the flour and cook, whisking, for one minute.
- Pour in the stock and whisk well. Whisk in soy sauce, marmite or vegemite, and a few grinds of pepper.
- Bring stock to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. You can control the thickness by covering the pot for part of the cooking time.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and additional pepper if desired. Remove turkey neck before serving.
- Since it keeps well and isn’t dependent on meat drippings, this is a great part of the holiday meal to make ahead. You can make the whole recipe up to a few days in advance — as soon as you buy a fresh turkey or start defrosting a frozen one.
- Instead of 8 cups broth, you can use 7 cups broth and 1 cup of a good, dry white wine.
- Marmite is an English condiment that’s full of umami. It’s made from yeast extract. Vegemite is a similar product from Australia. You won’t taste these ingredients — they’ll just contribute to a depth of flavor.
- This recipe is great for Thanksgiving leftovers, too, if you've run out of pan gravy and want to make another round.
- You can freeze this gravy for up to a year.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g