CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
40 Mins
total Time
2 Hours 10 Mins
Serves 10 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Gravy means different things to different people--it depends on where you call home. For "New Yawkers," particularly ones with Italian ancestry, "gravy" is a tomato ragú typically made of beef and pork, that almost universally includes meatballs and sausage. It's traditionally shared on Sundays, where family and friends come and go at will, serve themselves up some gravy, and show respect to the cook. Under slow, even heat, chicken thighs break down similarly to pork shoulder, so texturally, this version of Italian-American Sunday Gravy is right on the money.

How to Make It

Step 1

It's Louis Prima time. Your favorite internet music source has it. This is a must.

Step 2


Step 3

Moisten the bread and 4 garlic cloves with the milk in a large bowl.

Step 4

Add the ground turkey, 1/4 cup of onion, the parsley, both cheeses, and the egg whites to the bread mixture. Don't mix yet.

Step 5

Combine well, without mushing it. The meat is already ground, and it's turkey, a more pasty product than beef or pork. Make 16 small, 1-inch meatballs.

Step 6

Refrigerate in a single layer, uncovered, while you brown the other meats.

Step 7


Step 8

Heat a Dutch oven on the stovetop on moderate heat. Let the gravy begin.

Step 9

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken thighs and cook 3 minutes per side, until brown. Set aside on a platter.

Step 10

Add the chicken sausage and necks and cook 5 minutes, browning them on all sides. Cook the sausages to about 155°. Remember, this will be simmered again, so slightly undercooked is okay. Set aside on a platter.

Step 11

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven.

Step 12

Now, add half the meatballs and cook 5 minutes, browning them on two sides. Don't roll them about; simply turn once. They'll cook through in the gravy.

Step 13

Remove them to the platter, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Step 14


Step 15

Add 4 cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup of onion to the pot. Stir 2 minutes, until they're slightly browned and translucent.

Step 16

Now, add the tomatoes to the Dutch oven, juice and all, and the tomato paste and oregano. Bring to a boil. Scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Step 17

Gently add all of the chicken, the meatballs, the sausage, and the salt. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for an hour and a half or more, until the chicken thighs pull apart with a pair of tongs.

Step 18


Step 19

Remove the meat to a platter. Cut the sausages into 1-inch pieces on the bias. Cut the necks in half.

Step 20

Add the basil to the gravy. Stir.

Step 21

To serve, arrange the chicken thighs, sausage, necks, and meatballs on a platter. Spoon just enough tomato over to enrobe, but not drench. This is Gravy.

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