So you know that little white packet of turkey innards that you get inside the cavity of your turkey that most people throw away? DON’T THROW IT AWAY!!! There is amazing flavour to be had from inside that magic packet. And the good news is that it can be turned into a delicious easy peasy turkey gravy in just a couple of simple steps.
When you get your turkey home (or when you’ve defrosted it, if it’s a frozen one), have a feel around inside the cavity and you should find a small plastic packet containing the innards of the turkey plus the neck. (N.B. the neck might be separate.) Fish it all out and pop it into a saucepan, along with some carrots, onions, peppercorns and herbs (for quantities see the recipe below) Simmer, strain and freeze (unless it’s Christmas Day, or very nearly, in which case pop it in the fridge).
On Christmas day all you need to do is defrost your lovely tasty turkey stock (in the microwave, in a pan or overnight in the fridge – if you can find space!) and add it to the turkey roasting tray with a couple of tablespoons of flour, and you will have the most amazing turkey gravy, basically for free!
Note, these days it is entirely possible to get a turkey without any innards so do check. If you want to make this recipe – you really do need some turkey innards!
Making the stock for this recipe is super easy and involves hardly any work but if that is just one job too many for you in the busy run up to Christmas you can make the gravy in the recipe below using shop turkey stock, instead.
Easy Peasy Turkey Gravy
- 1 bag turkey innards/neck/general yucky bits
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary and/or thyme
- 2 tablespoons parsley stalks
- 500 ml cold water
- Turkey stock you made earlier or 500ml shop bought turkey stock
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 unwashed turkey roasting tray
First put all your turkey innards into a medium sized saucepan, add the rest of the stock ingredients and put over a medium high heat, bring to the boil, then turn right down and put a lid on. Leave to simmer away for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes strain the stock through a fine metal sieve into a clean jug/bowl/saucepan and discard all the bits left in the sieve – they have done their job.
Allow the stock to cool to room temperature. Pour into an airtight container and freeze until Christmas Day.
Defrost your stock for 24 hours in the fridge. Or you can defrost it by zapping it in the microwave or just melt it in a saucepan over a low heat.
When your turkey has finished cooking, transfer it to a separate tray or rack to rest, and put the roasting tray over a medium burner on your hob. Bring the juices to the boil and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir well until all the flour has been incorporated, then tip in the turkey stock you made earlier. Bring to the boil, then turn off and tip the gravy into a saucepan.
Bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes just before you want to serve the gravy.
Bonus Recipe: Turkey Stock from a Turkey Carcass
If you are cooking a whole turkey on Christmas day, you can repeat the same process with the turkey carcass, after you’ve eaten your lunch, and you will produce some really lovely turkey stock to use at a later date in soups or stews or anywhere you might usually use chicken stock. It would taste wonderful in Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake with Saffron Rice Pilaf, Easy Peasy Prawn Paella or Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup.
- 1 turkey carcass (or a chicken carcass will work too)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 6 black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary and/or thyme
- Small bunch of parsley, ripped up
- 2 litres cold water
- Put your turkey carcass and add all the rest of the stock ingredients. Put over a medium high heat, bring to the boil, then turn right down and put a lid on. Leave to simmer away for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, remove the turkey carcass and strain the stock through a fine metal sieve into a clean jug/bowl/saucepan. Discard the carcass and all the bits left in the sieve.
- Allow the stock to cool to room temperature. Pour into an airtight container and freeze until needed.
- Defrost your stock for 24 hours in the fridge. Or you can defrost it by zapping it in the microwave or just melt it in a saucepan over a low heat.