If you’re cooking up a Thanksgiving feast or even a simple dish of mashed potatoes, gravy can add a lot to the meal. It enhances the dish and can turn it dry, tasteless food into something sensation.
Using giblets for gravy makes it really flavorful, and I’m going to share with you how to cook giblets for gravy so that you can make your meals even better.
Instead of buying packaged gravy in the grocery, you can make fresh gravy from turkey or chicken giblets.
How to Prepare Giblets for Gravy
You can take the giblets and neck from a whole turkey before you cook the turkey. Just remove those parts and set them aside to be used for the gravy.
They should be refrigerated until you are ready to use them, and they can store in the fridge and cooked for 3-4 days. If you need to wait longer than that to use them, you can freeze these turkey parts, but not if they have been thawed out already.
How to Cook Turkey Giblets for Gravy
Let me share a recipe with you for giblet gravy, with all the ingredients you need to make it from scratch.
- Turkey neck and giblets, uncooked
- 4 cups of chicken broth (or another kind of broth of your choosing)
- Roasted turkey drippings
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Use the giblets and neck from raw turkey and put them into a saucepan. Cover the turkey parts with about two inches of water and heat on medium.
- Keep warming until the water begins to boil, and then lower the heat and allow the giblets to simmer for about an hour. This cooks the turkey parts and creates a lovely giblet broth to be used in the gravy,
- Take the neck and giblets out of the water and put them to the side. Save the giblet broth as well.
- Put turkey drippings into a bowl and allow them to separate at room temperature.
- Put a skillet onto the stove and ladle about half of the fat from the drippings into the skillet. It will be sitting on top of the drippings.
- Set the burner under the skillet to medium and sprinkle flour over the fat. Then whisk that together to make a paste. Add more fat or flour if necessary. The paste should be able to be stirred and should not be very greasy. After a few minutes of stirring, it should turn into a roux that is a deep brown color.
- Pour in a cup of the drippings and the broth and whisk together.
- Allow the gravy to thicken as you whisk it, cooking for about 6 minutes until it is thick enough.
- Now turn your attention back to the neck and giblets. Chop up the giblet into small pieces and tear off as much of the neck meat as you can. Add in as much of that meat to your gravy as you want to. A smooth gravy uses very little meat, whereas a chunky gravy has plenty of meat.
- You can just adjust the gravy from that point, adding more broth or drippings if needed. Salt and pepper can be added for seasoning, but taste the gravy before you add either of those. It may be just fine without them.
How Long Do You Boil Giblets for Gravy?
How long you need to boil the giblets to cook them all the way will depend on whether they were cooked ahead of time, how large they are, and how much heat you’ve put under them.
If you follow the directions I gave you above, it should take about an hour, and that’s assuming a fairly average size giblets and neck for your turkey.
If you want to make a large batch of gravy, you can use several necks and sets of giblets. That may take longer to cook, but it should still take about an hour if you have a large enough pot where you can cover the turkey bits comfortably with water.
As long as your pot isn’t too crowded, the giblets should cook at a low simmer in about an hour. Make sure that you’ve heated the water to boiling first before you lower it to a simmer. This is really important if you’re going to ensure that the turkey parts are cooked all the way through.
How long to cook giblets for gravy is up to you. You can cook them for longer so that the meat falls off the bone more easily and the parts are softer. You could also try increasing the heat to speed up the cooking time.
Since there’s not a lot of meat on the bones with these parts, you don’t have to focus on cooking them all the way through as much as you would other parts of the turkey.
After the giblets have cooked all the way, you still have to cook the gravy. This method of using giblets to make homemade gravy is pretty time intensive and laborious, but it’s worth it for the most delicious meat gravy you’ll ever have.
How to Store Giblet Gravy
Now that you’ve made your gravy, you should be serving it hot over mashed potatoes, turkey, or stuffing. However, if for some reason there is any left over, it should be allowed to cool to room temperature and then stored in the fridge.
Giblet gravy can be stored in a refrigerator safe container- basically anything plastic or glass and airtight- and then stored at a consistently cold temperature for three to four days.
This can be a slightly oily gravy, so if it looks like it’s separating, just give it a whisk. To reheat the gravy, it’s best to put it in a small sauce pan on the stove and warm it up.
You could also warm it in the microwave, but the sauce pan heating method gives you a more consistent warming.