Giblet Gravy





Introduction: Giblet Gravy

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

I love giblet gravy, and firmly believe that the only proper gravy to serve on Thanksgiving has tasty mystery bits.   Be brave, use all parts of the turkey this year, and try your hand at making the best gravy in the world.

This is my version of the giblet gravy my grandaddy would make every year for Christmas.  Feel free to modify; this is just a starting point, and everyone's tastes differ.   (For example, while you can puree giblet gravy for a smoother texture, I like my chunks large enough to be fun, tasty, and identifiable.)  Leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

Step 1: Saute Giblets

Remove the giblets from your bird.

The main body cavity usually houses the neck and tail; a bag of smaller parts may be in the chest cavity or tucked under the skin at the neck. This smaller bag should contain a liver (the big purple blob), the heart, and the gizzard.

Dump the lot into a hot, oiled pan with some pepper and a bay leaf. When you've browned the bits on all sides add a coarsely-chopped onion or two and stir.

Step 2: Deglaze and Boil

When the giblets and onions begin to stick to the pan, deglaze with sherry*.

Simmer and stir to remove any crispy bits from the bottom, then add 2 eggs, vegetables, and water to cover. Simmer for a while, replenishing the liquid as necessary. The eggs will thoroughly hardboil during the process.

2-3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2-3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
handful parsley

*Sherry is a sweet fortified wine; any similar beverage will do. The alcohol cooks off entirely, so it's the sugars and taste complexity you're after.

Step 3: Chop Giblets

Pull the giblets, eggs, and vegetables out of the pot with a slotted spoon, and pour the liquid into a temporary storage container.

Chop the liver, heart, gizzard, veggies, and eggs (after peeling). Pull meat from the neck and tail, and chop it into bits as well. Set aside. You'll probably want smaller chunks than I've used below; I was just a bit lazy.

Step 4: Make Roux

Because I like my flour cooked, we're going to make a bit of a roux.

Pul out your pan again (hopefully you didn't bother cleaning it) and add the grease of your choice: butter, any type of oil, or the grease floating at the top of the turkey pan will all work, though of course some are inherently tastier. Add enough grease to cover the pan, with a bit of extra to roll around when you tilt it.

Add a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir. Add more grease if you need to- you want this to be a soft porridgy mix. Continue stirring to cook the flour; the roux will darken as the flour cooks. Proceed to the next step when you reach a color you like, or when you're tired of stirring.

Step 5: Add Liquid

Slowly pour the still-warm liquid into the pan, stirring as you go to thoroughly incorporate it. You may prefer to use a whisk for this step to avoid clumping.

Add any additional juices from the turkey (after skimming off the fat) and the reserved chopped giblets and such. Stir around for a bit to let everything mingle properly.

Now's the time to add any extras you may like: I added fresh parsley and some lemon zest, but most any fresh herbs or dried spices could be nice, as would some grated garlic or ginger if it complements the rest of dinner.

Step 6: Season and Serve

Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust any of the other flavors as you see fit.

Place in an appropriate receptacle and serve warm. Because this is by definition a chunky gravy it won't pour neatly, so give it a ladle.

Giblet gravy is fabulous on southern-style white rice, but the rest of us happily put it on turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, or any other starchy food in sight.

Last year we ONLY made giblet gravy for our crowd of 26, and had no complaints. In previous years I've made both, and had to deal with constant questions about exactly what giblets were, and what a gizzard does. Fron now on: one gravy, no questions asked, everyone happy.



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I've been making this for years (sans HB eggs) and never knew it was called giblet gravy. I'd heard of giblet gravy of course, just didn't know I was making it. Also, I throw every thing into a blender so that the little bits and pieces are much smaller (you can also throw in other stuff ( I. E. sauteed mushrooms) for another layer of flavor.

6 replies

I just recently started mutilating my giblets in the blender also!  I kept getting too many funny looks when people ran across the chunks.

Using the blender is awesome! say you're making 4 cups of gravy (32oz).
using the formula of 2 Tb flour to 2 C gravy, and using turkey stock (made or bought) for the medium, I throw in the meat from the neck (cooked) the heart etc. the flour into the blender and hit liquify. let it go for about 1 minute and through it back in the roasting pan with a little white wine. Scrape up the little brown bits, let it come to a boil and you're done.

Lately, I've been hearing about a lot of people using wine in their gravies.  I've never used it for traditional gravy, but may have to soon.  All you guys can't be wrong about how good it tastes!  =)

It tastes pretty good, and it tastes just a little bit different than what most people make.
That stuff is crap, full of salt and sulfites so it won't spoil. You don't have to go expensive either. Anything that you would drink, you can cook with. To start off, go traditional: red wine for red meat, white wine for poultry or fish. Some wine are sweeter than others and you have to experiment to see what you like.
Here's a recipe for you Serves about 4"
1 Lb shrimp (cleaned a deveined))
1 Lb thin spaghetti
1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
Garlic (i use about 5-6 cloves thinly sliced, YMMV)
Red Pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Set a large pot containing at least 1 gallon of water to boil
add a large amount of Kosher salt to water (should taste like sea water)
Let it come to a boil and add spaghetti (leave it long) and gently stir about 30-60 seconds.
While waiting to come to a boil:
In a skillet add Olive oil, garlic and red pepper to oil and gently heat until the garlic turns soft (bring it up to heat and when garlic starts to simmer, watch closely don't allow to burn)
Let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavor of garlic and red pepper to steep into the oil.
Put the pan on med-med high and cook shrimp. When they are pink they're done. Don't overcook, you'll have rubber shrimp.
Take out shrimp, place in bowl, and add lemon juice and white wine to pan raise heat and cook until the liquids are reduced.
Your spaghetti should be ready by now (~9 minutes for al dente)
add shrimp back to pan on low to keep warm
Drain spaghetti, throw in pan, toss to coat.
Serve family style on a nice big platter with a little extra red pepper on top for garnish with a little sprinkle of sea salt
 You S O will verily be impressed

You're not kidding!  He'll love that.  Nothing's better than shrimp, pasta and garlic except maybe hrimp, pasta, garlic and bacon!  LOL!  =)  I'll definitely have to give this a try.  But I'm going to wait until the turducken stress is over.  I'm attempting my first one this year.  *fingers crossed*

The whole thing sounds like a lot of time, but you can have it done in about 30 minutes. Take that Rachel Ray.

Interesting you call the tail the "parson's nose". My Mom always called the tail the "Pope's Nose", or "The part that went over the fence last".

looks......... interesting. Kinda like one of those things that you see at a party, and someone you know made it, and you take a bowl to be polite yet as soon as you round the corner you pitch it in the coat room.

1 reply

I clearly need to take a better picture! We only make giblet gravy these days - without another option (or detailed explanation), people just take it by default and find it tasty. The chunks are the best part.

hmmm... i always thought of giblet as those things you get when you frag somebody in a first person shooter.:) looks really good

Yet another excellent reason to "save the giblets!" -According to Julia Child.

Your gravy looks delicious, but you so much deserve a gas hob. (I weep for you) L

1 reply

I desperately miss having a gas stove, but this one works too well to excuse ripping it out now. Hopefully it will break sometime soon.

Just some advice, NEVER POOR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES or anything flammable INTO A POT WHILE IT IS ON THE STOVE. First remove the pot, then put the liquid in, then put it back on the stove. Failure to do so may result in you loosing your hand. This is because if the liquid catches fire, it can travel up into the bottle thus exponetially increasing the size of everything in there faster than the neck of the bottle can handle, causing it to explode throwing glass everywhere. Looks good by the way

1 reply

Sherry is about 35 proof (~17% alcohol); this isn't a high enough concentration to catch on fire. Wine and beer are both low enough in alcohol that you've nothing to worry about. For a flambe you need a minimum of 60 proof, or 30% alcohol by volume; 80 proof is considered ideal. In this case your warning is quite correct.