Roast-Turkey Gravy 12.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Nov 16, 2016

This rich gravy is mostly done in advance, which makes it potluck-friendly. The secret to its depth of flavor is a very dark roux. Madeira adds complexity.

The recipe is based on one from chef Ian Boden of the Shack in Staunton, Va., whose in-laws tasked him with re-creating a gravy he had never tasted from a matriarch he'd never had the chance to meet.

We tested the recipe with homemade and with store-bought broth, and we strongly recommend using homemade.

Make Ahead: The gravy can be made a day in advance; reheat over medium-low heat, with fresh roast turkey drippings stirred in just before serving.

Where to Buy: Raw turkey necks are available at Harvey's Market in the District's Union Market.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes 5 cups

  • 2 to 3 pounds raw turkey necks and/or wings (not smoked)
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth (see headnote)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 6 tablespoons Madeira
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1 cup strained, defatted turkey drippings (may substitute 1 more cup of broth)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the turkey necks and/or wings on a baking sheet; roast for about 1 hour or until dark brown.

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the roasted turkey parts, then reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours. Strain, discarding the solids. The yield is 4 cups.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 6 minutes or until it softens. Increase the heat to medium-high; add 2 tablespoons of the Madeira and cook for about 2 minutes or until it has evaporated. Transfer the onion to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter. Once that has melted, stir in the flour. Cook for about 30 minutes to develop a very dark brown roux with perhaps a few black flecks, stirring occasionally.

Quickly whisk in 1 cup of the broth; as soon as that is incorporated, whisk in the remaining 3 cups of broth. Return the onion to the pan, whisking to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high, whisking to form a thickened gravy. Add the teaspoon each of salt and pepper and the remaining 4 tablespoons of Madeira, whisking until smooth. Remove from the heat.

At this point, the gravy base can be refrigerated.

Just before serving, reheat over medium heat, stirring a few times to keep the gravy from scorching. Whisk in the cup of drippings. Taste, and add salt and/or pepper, as needed. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Ian Boden, chef at the Shack in Staunton, Va.

Tested by Jim Webster.

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