Knowing how to make giblet gravy will magically turn an ordinary dinner into a special one. One of our most popular Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes, you'll want to make this old fashioned giblet gravy this holiday season.
Our good friend from Texas grew up eating this and shows us how to make his Granny's version of this southern-style gravy in just 25 minutes!
What is this?
This recipe for giblet gravy uses regular gravy as a base. The transformation comes with the addition of giblet meat. Who would have guessed that little bag you find inside the cavities of store-bought chickens and turkeys could contain so much magic?
My late mom's family recipe for turkey dressing includes giblets from the bird, and as a kid, it was added flavor that I never could fully appreciate.
Oh, how things can change over the years, including palates and taste preferences.
The beautiful thing about this easy gravy recipe is that you can make it using turkey or chicken giblets.
Ingredients and notes
Unless you use the store-bought stuff in a jar, all gravy starts with a roux. This is a combination of equal parts fat and flour. We've done an entire post about how to make a roux. It's life-changing!
The other major ingredients for this giblet gravy include the broth (or stock if you are using that) and of course, the giblets.
Butter: Butter is always great for making gravy, but you can substitute some pan drippings for this purpose. The drippings will add even more flavor to this recipe!
Why it's better to make your own broth (or stock):
- It is easy (and economical) to make.
- You will know what is in it and, even more important: What isn't in it! (In addition to preservatives and artificial (chemical) flavors, the store-bought broth is famous for being loaded with salt!
- Homemade broth and stock tastes thousands of times better than something from a box or a jar.
What are giblets?
Giblets are the best parts of this old-fashioned gravy. If you're buying a whole turkey from the store, they are often in a little pouch in the neck cavity. But what are they?
These little bits of chopped meat add so much flavor and can turn a good gravy into the best gravy for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Giblets are specific organs of fowl, which usually include:
Some people call this turkey neck gravy, but you're going to use all of those little pieces that are found in the separate bag that's inside the cavity of your bird.
Each of these giblets adds a powerful flavor, including the turkey neck meat with its flavor-giving bone.
How to make giblet gravy
Start this easy recpe with a roux. A roux is an essential part of any homemade gravy or sauce and many soups and stews.
- Start to cook your roux with approximately equal parts of butter (or other fat) and flour.
- Over medium heat, cook the roux to a medium-brown color using a medium saucepan.
Preparing the Broth
Like the rest of this recipe for giblet gravy, this part is super simple.
- Add the broth to a large saucepan and season with:
- Black Pepper
Bring the broth and seasoning to a boil and then use a ladle to gradually sir some of the broth into the roux.
Next, you're going to gradually transfer some of the thinned-out roux, back into the saucepan of broth. Maintain the broth at a gentle boil while you slowly whisk the roux into the broth.
As the roux cooks, it will thicken, turn darker and become more flavorful.
Finally, add the small pieces of chopped giblets along with the chopped hard-boiled eggs. Your giblet gravy will thicken nicely and can be kept warm on the stove until you are ready to eat.
Pro cooking tips
For the most flavorful gravy, stir in some of the chicken or turkey drippings from the roasting pan.
Be sure and scrape up the brown bits from the roast turkey or chicken from the bottom of the pan. These gifts from your Thanksgiving turkey are called fonds and are loaded with extra flavor.
Note: For a smoother gravy, you can strain the fats and solids out of the drippings.
Aside from the giblets in this recipe for homemade gravy, there is another ingredient you may find surprising: sliced bits of hard-boiled egg.
Not everyone knows how to cook hard-boiled eggs, but once again, Chef Kat shows you how in the previous link.
This may sound unusual to some of you, but try not to judge until you taste this classic southern recipe.
The eggs will grow on you, and by the end of the meal, you'll wish you had tried this gravy recipe sooner.
Variations and substitutions
- For a richer tasting and creamier texture, stir in a little pre-warmed cream or half-and-half at the end.
- If you don't like hard-boiled eggs, you can leave them out.
- Saute a few chopped shallots or yellow onion in the butter when making the roux. This will make a nice savory gravy.
- Add a bay leaf, some fresh chopped sage, fresh thyme, and/or fresh rosemary at the end. About ½ teaspoon of each will do the trick. The dried variety in your spice cupboard will also work if you don't have fresh herbs. Any of these is a wonderful addition to this classic recipe.
My Texas friends put this easy giblet gravy recipe together for me a few weeks ago while Scott was out of town. Watching them prepare this turkey giblet gravy recipe was only part of the fun.
The real joy, as is the case with any good meal shared between family and friends, was the conversation. Isn't that what holiday dinners are all about?
Be sure and look at our Rich Roasted Turkey Gravy Recipe. Our kids ask for it by name!
Common recipe questions
My favorite ways to use any leftover gravy are in a homemade pot pie or in a turkey shepherd's pie. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, make these easy potato croquettes and dip them in this homemade gravy!
A better question might be what doesn't go well with this recipe! My personal favorites include cornbread dressing , garlic mashed potatoes, and our homemade potato dumplings. The truth is though, I can eat this giblet by itself!
It depends on how you store it. Be sure to store it in one of the following ways within two hours after removing from heat:
- In the refrigerator, it will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- If in the freezer, it will keep up to 3 months. Put it in a zip-lock bag, remove all the air, and label and date the bag.
- To reheat, warm it up in a saucepan on the stovetop. You may want to add a little water or broth when reheating.
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Giblet Gravy Recipe
for the Roux
- ¾ cup or 1 ½ sicks butter
- 3 tablespoons flour (3 tablespoons of flour is approximately equal to the amount to butter)
for the Gravy
- 48 oz chicken broth
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- sage to taste
- 3-4 eggs hard boiled and sliced
- 1 handful giblets boiled and chopped.
for the Roux
- Over low heat, melt butter in a large skillet - whisk in several heaping tablespoons of flour while continuously stirring. It may clump up and then will start melting into semi-liquid. Saturate with flour and keep whisking. Roux will darken as the flour cooks continue process till roux transforms to a dark gold/medium brown color. Next, remove from heat and reserve for gravy (See cooking video at beginning of this post.)
for the Giblet Gravy
- Using large sauce pan, bring broth and seasoning to a boil.
- Take part of liquid and ladle into the roux, whisk together and then add to main broth.
- Keep whisking at a slow boil until it thickens.
- Then add eggs,and giblets. Gravy should thicken up well and can be held on the stove to keep warm
- You can substitute the flour in this gravy to thicken it with cornstarch, arrowroot, or potato starch.
- For a richer gravy, stir in some heavy cream or milk just before it is finished cooking.
- Add some shallots, onion, and/or celery to the to the melted butter, when making the roux.
- For the broth, making your own chicken stock or turkey stock is always the best option. You'll end up with a much more flavorful stock than anything you can buy in the store.