This Make Ahead White Wine Turkey Gravy is silky, rich, and balanced with layers of flavor from the rich roasted turkey wing broth, browned butter roux, and white wine. With plenty of herbs, black and white pepper, and a touch of dijon mustard to finish - this is the best turkey gravy to ever grace your gravy boat!
My make ahead turkey gravy recipe is perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and/or Christmas alongside my Dry Brined Spatchcocked Turkey, Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes, and Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage. Trust me when I say you will want to double the recipe as your guests will be begging for more.
I've loved gravy for as long as I can remember (I even had a cat named Gravy when I was a little girl). It is one of my favorite things no matter what the time of year, but especially on the Thanksgiving table. But as much as I love gravy, it is probably the most stressful part of the Thanksgiving meal because you have to wait for the turkey to be done in order to use the drippings. Like, all the food is done but now you have to make gravy while everyone watches. No thanks. This make ahead option alleviates all of that stress and we can all rest easy knowing the gravy is waiting for us and not the other way around.
My dad always made white wine gravy and gravy just isn't gravy to me without that flavor. I bump that flavor up a little more with a bit of dijon mustard whisked in right at the end. The white wine and dijon mustard give this gravy such balance and a mouth-watering tanginess that pairs so well with all of the rich holiday dishes and it is a must for leftovers.
This recipe is essentially two parts: the roasted turkey wing stock which can be made up to 5 days ahead and then the white wine gravy we will make with the stock which can be made up to 4 days ahead if refrigerating or up to 6 months ahead if freezing.
Ingredients for roasted turkey wing stock:
- fresh turkey wings: you can use turkey legs too. Be careful not to get smoked unless you want a very smoky tasting gravy!
- celery stalks: a classic aromatic and one of my favorite flavors.
- carrots: again, a classic that adds richness and a hint of sweetness to the stock.
- shallots: or a medium to large onion.
- fresh garlic: I love garlic in stocks and broths but feel free to omit or reduce if you do not.
- dried porcini mushrooms: this is another little secret richness booster. You can use any dried mushroom or even toss in some fresh ones or stems.
- salt and pepper: for the turkey wings. I do not salt the stock very much as I like to season the gravy itself.
- olive oil: to drizzle the wings and help with browning.
- sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley: lots of herbs and these are my favorites. Fresh fennel would be really good too (not an herb but sort of acts like one here)
Ingredients for white wine turkey gravy:
- unsalted butter: You can use salted but be careful of the saltiness as gravy can become overly salty as it cooks down.
- all purpose flour: the flour will get whisked with the butter to create the brown butter roux that will flavor and thicken the gravy
- salt: I always use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you use a different brand or a finer grain salt, use half the amount.
- black pepper and white pepper: I do this combo often in my recipes as it adds a more interesting flavor profile than just one pepper. White pepper is one of the most underrated seasonings in my opinion and one my dad uses constantly in his cooking.
- poultry seasoning blend: a Thanksgiving classic that adds another layer of herby flavor to this gravy along with the herbed stock.
- white wine: gravy is not gravy without white wine, again, thanks to my dad. The white wine adds a much-needed acidity and depth of flavor to the gravy. If you are alcohol-free add a splash of sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- roasted turkey wing stock: making this stock a few days ahead and then making the gravy a day or two ahead of the big day makes the process very easy and low-stress. And the flavor you get from homemade is always going to be better than store bought. Side note: I'm not against store-bought stock and I use it often. But for something like this which is almost entirely made of stock I prefer to go for homemade.
- dijon mustard: this is my little touch. It is good in any gravy
- worcestershire and/or soy sauce: optional, as needed for flavor ingredients
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make white wine gravy
Step 1: Roasted Turkey Wing Stock
To make the roasted turkey wing stock:
- Place all vegetables in a large oven-safe pot or dutch oven and place wings on top.
- Drizzle wings with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast at 375 degrees F for 1 ½ to 2 hours until wings are very brown.
- Remove from oven and add herbs, mushrooms, and topping with water.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain and proceed with gravy recipe.
Step 2: White Wine Turkey Gravy
To make the white wine gravy:
- Add butter to a large saucepan or pot and melt over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter turns a light brown color.
- Add flour to browned butter and whisk well. Cook this roux for a minute or two, whisking constantly, before adding seasonings and whisking to combine.
- Add white wine. Whisk again - you will have a lumpy looking mixture at this point.
- Add one cup of stock at a time, whisking well between each addition. You should need about 4-5 cups to get a good gravy consistency. I like when it is pourable and just a little thick, not gloppy. If it is too thin, simply allow to simmer until it thickens to desired consistency. If it is too thick, add more broth or a bit of water if you are out of broth.
- When gravy is at desired thickness, whisk in dijon mustard and taste for seasoning.
- Add more salt, pepper as needed. If you want a richer flavor add a dash or two of soy sauce and/or worcestershire sauce.
- If you want to add drippings from your turkey on the day of, you absolutely should! But hold off on salting the gravy until after you add them and taste the saltiness of your gravy before adjusting seasonings.
If you want to add drippings from your turkey on the day of, you absolutely should! But hold off on salting the gravy until after you add them and taste the saltiness of your gravy before adjusting seasonings.
Storage and reheating
Cooled and stored in sealed jars or containers this gravy will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days and in the freezer for 6 months.
To reheat, pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until hot and bubbling.
From frozen, allow to thaw in refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Dry, crisp white wines such as viognier, pinot gris, or sauvignon blanc are my preferred wines for gravy recipes as they add a tanginess and balance that is very welcome when paired with rich, heavy dishes. A chardonnay is also very nice but not my first choice.
The alcohol content will reduce after simmering but will not cook out completely.
According to the USDA, 40% of the original amount will remain after 15 minutes of cooking, 35% after 30 minutes and 25% after an hour.
I do not recommend using cooking wine as it often has additives and salt and not a good flavor. You should cook with something you would drink as the flavor will come through in the final dish.
If you are careful to whisk in between each addition of stock you should not get lumps. But if you find yourself with lumps the easiest thing to do is strain your gravy through a fine mesh strainer or sieve to remove lumps of flour. Alternatively you could blend the gravy in a blender until smooth.
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