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Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy

This Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy tastes just like you made it right before dinner…but you didn’t! It’s a great way to help de-stress your holiday cooking!

Thanksgiving (or any other holiday dinner where you’re serving turkey) wouldn’t be complete without homemade gravy, but it sure can add to the craziness of trying to get everything done and on the table at the same time.

Or perhaps you cook your turkey in a way that doesn’t make the yummy drippings that you need to make gravy, like deep frying (so good!) or grilling. But you still want gravy!

Or maybe you cook your turkey in one of those large disposable foil pans, which are awesome for easy clean-up but not made for the stove top, and so you can’t make gravy in them. But you still want gravy!

In any of these situations, it could be very tempting to just open a jar or can of gravy or make some from a powdered mix, but why not have the real deal instead?

You can make it days, weeks, or even months ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it (depending on how far in advance it is) so it’s ready to go on the big day. All you have to do is thaw it (if needed) and heat it up!

At this time of the year, you can usually find packages of turkey wings quite easily in most grocery stores.

Those wings make a delicious turkey broth that’s the base for this awesome gravy that tastes like you made it fresh…and you’ll have one less thing to worry about on the big day!

bowl of gravy with a ladle in it

Ingredients you need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Turkey wings
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Dry sherry or dry white wine (optional)
  • Boxed turkey or chicken stock (or broth)
  • Water
  • Dried thyme
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s a look at how to make Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy:

two images showing the steps to make easy make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing the steps to make easy make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing the steps to make easy make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing the steps to make easy make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing how to make make-ahead turkey gravy
two images showing how to make make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing how to make make-ahead turkey wing gravy
two images showing how to make make-ahead turkey wing gravy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • You can use boxed turkey or chicken stock or broth for this recipe. I find that stock has a much richer flavor and a darker color, and that is what I usually use (and it’s usually turkey unless I can’t find it, then I use chicken). Kitchen Basics is a good brand (#notsponsored).
  • Be sure to use dry sherry or white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc) and not sweet. Gravy shouldn’t be sweet.
  • If you’d rather not use wine, just use ½ cup of water or extra stock/broth to deglaze the pan.
  • When making the stock, simmer it gently. If you cook it to fast, too much of your liquid will evaporate, and you may be left with less than 4 cups of broth.
  • When you add your broth to the flour, you’ve got to add it slowly while stirring constantly to help ensure you get a smooth rather than lumpy gravy. If you can’t whisk it totally smooth, no worries…just strain it!
  • You can make the gravy over two days if you would rather. Once you make the broth, cool it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim off the fat from the top (this is actually easier when the broth is cold) and proceed with the recipe.
  • If you will be using your gravy within 1 to 3 days, you can keep it in the refrigerator. Longer than that, freeze it for up to 4 to 6 months.
  • When ready to serve, reheat gently (thaw first if needed). Sometimes gravy will be thicker after being refrigerated or frozen, so if needed, thin it out with some broth.
gravy being poured over mashed potatoes

Also, if you’ve got ’em, feel free to stir in some of those turkey drippings while you’re warming up the gravy for extra deliciousness!

I hope you try this recipe for Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy and love it as much as I do, and I hope it makes your Thanksgiving and holiday dinners a little easier!

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Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy

This Easy Make-Ahead Turkey Wing Gravy tastes just like you made it right before dinner…but you didn't. It's a great way to help de-stress your holiday cooking!
Print Recipe Rate/Comment Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 16 (about ¼ cup each; recipe makes about 4 cups total)
Calories: 57
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 turkey wings, about 1½ to 2 pounds total
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 stalks celery, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • ½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine
  • 4 cups boxed turkey stock or broth, or chicken stock or broth, I use turkey stock
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large deep skillet (the pan I use is 11 inches in diameter and 2½ inches deep), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Note: If you don't have a large skillet, you can use a stock pot or Dutch oven.
  • Add the turkey wings and cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan; continue cooking for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and lightly brown.
  • Remove the turkey wings and vegetables from the skillet and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add the sherry (or white wine) to the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pan by scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom.
  • Return the turkey wings and vegetables to the skillet. Add the broth, water, and thyme; stir.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. You should end up with about 4 cups of broth. Note: make sure you simmer gently. If you cook it to fast, too much liquid will evaporate away.
  • Remove the turkey wings and then strain the broth into a large bowl. Save the wings and vegetables for another use or discard them.
  • At this point, you can either proceed with the recipe, or you can cool the broth, cover it, and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Let the broth sit for a few minutes and then remove any excess fat that has risen to the top of the broth.
  • In a medium saucepan (I use a 3-quart), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute (this is to cook the raw taste out of the flour).
  • While constantly whisking, slowly add the turkey broth (adding the broth gradually while whisking will help ensure that your gravy is smooth and lump-free). Keep whisking until it is smooth.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for a minute or two until the gravy thickens.
  • Season taste with salt and pepper.
  • Allow the gravy to cool and then refrigerate (if using within 1 to 3 days) or freeze for longer storage for up to 4 to 6 months.
  • When ready to serve, reheat gently, stirring occasionally (thaw first if frozen). If needed, thin it out with broth.

Notes

  • I find that stock has a richer flavor and deeper color than broth, so turkey stock is what I usually use.
  • If you’d rather not use wine, just use ½ cup of water or extra stock/broth to deglaze the pan.
  • Gravy a little lumpy? Just strain it!
  • When warming it up, feel free to stir in some of those turkey drippings for extra deliciousness!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Mention @nowcookthis or tag #nowcookthisrecipes!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Recipe Rating




Jennifer Johnson

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

This was a fantastic option for a small Thanksgiving dinner. After reducing during the simmer I transferred the wings on top of my dressing to go in the oven. Kept the stuffing moist and added more flavor. I was surprised the wings were in good shape, and after roasting with the dressing, they were served along side the half turkey breast - moist and not overcooked! I used half of the reduced stock to make gravy and the other half was used for my stuffing.

Michelle

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Thank you, Jennifer! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, and I love that you roasted the wings with your stuffing and then served them. It's a great idea that I'll definitely be trying. Thanks for sharing!