KC’s Great Gravy Tips

Prep Time: |
November 20, 2014

The Turkey is roasted, the potatoes are whipped, the stuffing is steaming in a dish beside you.  Now it’s time to turn to the gravy, usually the most neglected and least-interesting component on the table.  In the KC family, gravy coats the potatoes, stuffing, turkey, and is mopped up with a fresh baked roll.  That is, if it lives up to the palate’s expectations!  It needs to have that smooth, herb-infused, warm-brothy, hint-of-perfect-salt-at-the-finish taste to give that Thanksgiving Day satisfaction sigh as we sit at the table with family and friends.

KC is here to help you achieve that with these 6 great gravy tips.  Don’t be afraid to approach that gravy with the tenacity of a chef- we’re right behind you with the secrets to delicious gravy!


KC Gravy Tip# 1: Don’t let those mystery bits go to waste! When you open your turkey, take the neck and gizzards and save it to enhance your gravy (you can also sear and chop up the gizzards and add them to your stuffing if you prefer). Roast the neck till its a deep brown and add it to your simmering stock.



Gravy Tip #2: After your roasted turkey rests, pour all the extra juices into a pan and reduce them halfway, then add them to your gravy for a quick boost.  First, pour it into a bowl or measuring cup and skim off the fat.  This fat is good to use for many things that you would like a slight turkey flavor, simply use it like bacon fat!



Gravy Tip # 3: Use aromatics! Bay leaf, thyme sprigs, parsley stems, and peppercorns are essential to enhancing the gravy’s aroma.  Depending on the amount of gravy, you will want about 1-2 bay leaves, 4-5 parsley stems, 5-6 peppercorns, and 1-2 large sprigs of thyme.


You can leave them loose in the gravy or tie them up into a sachet: cut a square of cheesecloth and tie the aromatics in a bundle with twine.  To make it easy to fish out, tie the other end of the string to the handle of the sauce pot.  We put our sachet in once the gravy is thickened and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Gravy Tip #4: Stock is one of the main the building blocks of a proper gravy. If you don’t have a turkey stock made, chicken stock is fine! Be sure to let any extra turkey juices or bones add more turkey flavor to the gravy.  Use your stock to moisturize your stuffing as well!

Gravy Tip # 5: Thickeners are important! Do you use roux, a slurry, or another starch? KC recommends roux, a mixture of flour and butter, whisked into the broth. Make sure you let it come to a simmer for its full thickening power before adding more and let it simmer at least 20 minutes so make sure the starchy flavor is gone before serving.

Gravy Tip #6: Season, Season! Seasoning puts the final touches on your gravy so its delectable when it hits your tongue! KC uses salt, white pepper, cayenne and yes, a hint of nutmeg to bring the gravy full circle.


Using these little hints, your gravy has the potential to wow everyone at the table!  Don’t be intimidated; get in there and make that gravy great!

If you have any questions about or during your gravy making process, feel free to ask KC!  We will do our best to help in any gravy emergency.


Kathryn Wandrie is the head chef and co-owner of KC Catering. Though she is trained in French Classical Cuisine, she expands the boundaries of her culinary education by experimenting with new techniques, cuisines and methods. When she's not cheffing, you can find her on the family farm, spending time with family, or reading a good novel.

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