For as long as I can remember, my mom has prepared broth for gravy using turkey necks.
Simmering turkey necks with veggies and savory seasonings makes a richly flavored broth that’s whisked into delicious velvety gravy!
This gravy has so much flavor, plus it lets the chef use up the whole turkey.
What Are Turkey Necks?
(and Where Do You Find Them?)
- Turkey necks are dark meat which is flavor packed. When preparing a whole turkey for roasting, the neck and giblets are often inside and should be removed before roasting.
- In this recipe, turkey necks are browned for flavor and used to make broth. You can add the giblets too if you’d like.
- The simmering part of this recipe can be done months ahead (and frozen), so the gravy is easy to prepare at meal time.
- You can buy packages of turkey necks in the refrigerator or freezer section of most grocery stores, they’re fairly inexpensive. If you don’t see them, ask the grocer.
Ingredients for Turkey Neck Gravy
Turkey Necks – Save the necks and giblets that are often packed in the cavity of the turkey! Most grocers will sell turkey necks separately, or you can order them in advance. Necks should be thawed before browning.
Vegetables – Much like making turkey broth or stock, vegetables add flavor.
Broth – Our family has always made this using reduced-sodium broth with the necks for an intense and flavorful gravy. If you’d prefer, you can use water and add bouillon cubes, but we do find boxed broth to give the best results.
Seasonings/Herbs – Use fresh herbs if you have them. If not, dried herbs are just as good in this gravy recipe.
Add Extra Flavor
Save the drippings (both the fat and the juices) from roasting the turkey!
Use the fat in place of butter, and be sure to scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon and cook them into the broth for more flavor!
How to Make Turkey Neck Gravy
- Brown turkey necks and (vegetables if you’d like) in a large pot (per the recipe below).
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the broth, discarding the necks and vegetables.
- Cook butter, flour, and sage until lightly browned. Whisk in broth a little at a time until smooth.
- Simmer the gravy until thickened.
Don’t let gravy sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop.
Freeze for up to 2-3 months in zippered bags or in ice cube trays so you can pop one or two out to add a punch of savory flavor to soups, stews, sandwiches, and stir-fries!
Did you make this Turkey Neck Gravy? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
Turkey Neck Gravy
- 4 turkey necks raw
- 1 large yellow onion unpeeled and quartered
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 small handful of fresh parsley or a few sprigs of fresh poultry herb mixture optional
- ½ cup roast turkey drippings* or butter
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon dried ground sage
- 4 cups turkey neck broth above
To Make the Broth
- In a large heavy bottom pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey necks and cook until browned on both sides.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot, and seasonings. Stir in broth and water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Strain the broth and discard the necks and vegetables.
To Make the Gravy
- In a medium saucepan, combine the ½ cup of fat from the turkey drippings or butter (or use a combination of both to make a total of ½ cup) over medium heat. Add the flour and sage and cook, while stirring, until the flour starts to lightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once browned, gradually add any juices from the turkey and the strained broth, stirring until very smooth after each addition. It will seem very thick and pasty at first, continue slowly adding the broth and stirring until smooth.
- Once all of the broth is added, let the gravy simmer over medium-low heat until thickened to desired consistency.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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