To take the last-minute hassle out of gravy making, we created this recipe that relies on turkey broth, wine, and richly toasted flour rather than pan drippings for flavor. Before you start browning the flour, have broth measured and ready to whisk in to stop the flour from browning further. Well-browned flour thickens less than raw flour, so you'll use quite a bit of flour to start.
Turkey backbone (optional; broken in half), neck, tail, loose skin, and giblets (except liver)
2 1/2 qts. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dry white wine, divided
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped (save leaves for Grilled Butterflied Turkey with Celery Herb Rub)
Make turkey broth: In a 6- to 8-qt. pot, bring turkey pieces, chicken broth, 1 1/4 cups wine, the carrots, onion, celery, thyme sprigs, and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is tender when pierced, 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth into a bowl, pressing solids to extract juices, and discard solids. Measure 2 qts. broth and set aside. (Save extra for other uses.) Wipe pot clean with paper towels.
Set pot over medium heat, add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until flour begins to smoke, smells slightly burnt, and has turned a rich medium brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (You'll use quite a bit of flour, since well-browned flour thickens less than raw flour.) Carefully whisk in 2 cups reserved broth and whisk into a smooth paste. Whisk in 1 1/2 qts. more broth, the remaining 1/4 cup wine, and chopped thyme. (Adding wine and herbs shortly before serving gives the gravy a big flavor boost.)
Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors, whisking often. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make ahead: Up to 2 days, chilled. Reheat over medium heat, stirring.
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