Cider Herb Gravy on a table in a Studio
Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post
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Cider Herb Gravy

Flavorful and lump-free, this gravy will not let you down.

The gravy base (all but the drippings) can be prepared up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate in an airtight container.

Adapted from a 2003 Bon Appetit recipe.


measuring cup
Servings: 3 cups

For the gravy base

  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple-flavored brandy (such as calvados or applejack) or other brandy

For the gravy

  • Turkey pan juices/drippings
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Step 1

    For the gravy base: Combine the parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary and nutmeg in small bowl.

  2. Step 2

    Combine the chicken broth and apple cider in a large, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to 3 cups. Transfer the reduced mixture to a medium bowl.

  3. Step 3

    Return the saucepan to the stove, over medium-high heat, and add the butter, stirring just until melted. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the reduced chicken broth-cider mixture, then the cream, brandy and the herb mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, whisking often, until the mixture thickens and has reduced to 2 3/4 cups. Remove from the heat. (At this point, the gravy base may be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated in an airtight container.)

  4. Step 4

    For the gravy: Heat the gravy base in the large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, transfer the turkey pan juices/drippings from a roasted turkey to a large fat-separator measuring cup. Add about 1 cup of the defatted juices/drippings to the gravy base and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally; cook for several minutes until the gravy thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with pepper to taste; transfer to a gravy boat and serve hot.

Nutritional Facts

Per 2-tablespoon serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    3 g

  • Cholesterol

    12 mg

  • Fat

    4 g

  • Protein

    1 g

  • Saturated Fat

    2 g

  • Sodium

    66 mg

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from a 2003 Bon Appetit recipe.

Tested by Jane Black