I would have to say that the turkey giblet gravy is my most favorite non-dessert related holiday dish. I could probably drink it straight from a cup — although I never have — but I frequently threaten to. Who knows — maybe someday I will do just that!
I love it poured over my turkey, stuffing, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc. I love eating it over plain or toasted bread for breakfast — but most especially I love sopping it up with yeast rolls after everything else on the holiday meal plate has been eaten! When it is cold and congealed, I’ll even use it as a sandwich spread along with cranberry sauce for left over turkey sandwiches!
Normally, our family recipe calls for chopped hard boiled egg. However, I prefer not to use it. I like it okay, that first day, but it not only reduces the shelf life of any left over gravy, but also each extra day that the gravy is kept the more the egg taste takes over. It is up to you whether you want to use it or not, but I just prefer not to myself.
Many people make a turkey broth with the giblets using water and just use chicken broth for other dishes such as stuffing, dressing, etc. — but I prefer to first turn the chicken broth (instead of water) into enough turkey broth to use for everything the way my grandmother and those before her did. It results in a much richer turkey broth and gravy!
Pictured here is a 6 quart pot in which the giblets were boiled in chicken broth, the giblets removed and refrigerated, and then the broth was allowed to reduce on a low simmer uncovered until in this case it was reduced by almost half for around 8 hours or so — the more it is reduced the darker, stronger, and richer it will be — prior to being used to make giblet gravy. It only needs 1 hour 20 minutes as per the recipe, but sometimes I just want to go for that extra flavor and richness, so if I have the time I will let it go much longer then later add more broth to bring the volume back up. Then, the minced giblets desired along with any shredded tender neck meat were then returned to the reduced broth, the volume replenished with fresh non-reduced chicken broth added, along with some seasonings, and then it was allowed to continue simmering until the roasted turkey was ready so I could add the pan drippings and make the gravy.
The chicken broth can be purchased or homemade. Whenever possible, I reserve any chicken broth when boiling chicken for various recipes then freeze it until needed. If I do have to use purchased broth, I prefer a pure broth with no additives and very low sodium — or better still one with no sodium if available.
If purchasing broth and on a budget, use at least half the amount of chicken broth indicated and top up the rest with water. However, to get a good flavor you will need to boil it much longer until it has reduced down — by at least one or up to about 1-1/2 cups less. However, this also means that you will have that much less turkey broth to use and may need to make up for it with additional chicken broth later in your other non-gravy dishes.
Turkey Giblet Gravy
Turkey broth is needed for the making the giblet gravy as well as other holiday dishes so the first step is to make enough turkey broth for everything — six cups for the gravy (or more) plus whatever is needed for all the rest. Remaining broth if any after other dishes are made can be added to the gravy or frozen.
There will be enough gravy to last not just for the initial holiday meal but also until the left overs are eaten. Left over gravy can also be used for casseroles and other recipes or even frozen.
giblets and neck from turkey
10 to 12 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
turkey drippings from roasting pan
1 Tbsp. Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped, optional
In a 4 quart or larger Dutch oven pot, add the chicken broth, unsalted butter, and the turkey giblets and neck. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove giblets with slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add quantity needed (usually no more than about 3/4 cup) of turkey broth to bottom of turkey roaster.
When turkey has finished roasting, reserve all of the turkey drippings from the roasting pan to mix with the turkey broth.
Depending upon quantity of time needed to the roast turkey and the time needed for the turkey broth and pan to cool down, refrigerate the pot of broth until ready to make the gravy if necessary.
When ready, add the turkey roaster drippings to the broth and whisk to incorporate well.
Reserve any needed for other recipes and refrigerate — keeping at least 6 cups (or more) in the pot for the gravy.
Bring turkey broth for the gravy to a roiling boil again on medium-high heat.
Reduce to heat to a low-medium.
Chop up the desired giblet parts and remove meat from the neck. Shred and chop up the neck meat.
Keep half for the gravy and refrigerate the remainder for use in stuffing, dressing, or other dishes as desired. Set aside to warm to room temperature.
Stir in the seasonings, chopped giblets, neck meat, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer on low heat setting — until everything else is ready to serve.
When ready, whisk cornstarch into 1/2 cup water until smooth.
Whisk cornstarch into stock and drippings. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in the evaporated milk, and (optional) chopped hard-cooked egg.
Taste test and adjust seasonings as desired.
Simmer, whisking occasionally, until gravy is thickened as desired, approximately 6 to 10 minutes.
For Cornbread Stuffing and/or Dressing: