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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy by Ina Garten

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe by Ina Garten and it is WONDERFUL!

This is also how I became a fan of a fall cognac cocktail. I bought cognac for the the gravy recipe and had quite a bit left over...enter Google search and "cognac cocktails" - voila, the bottle was put to use.

I also must admit how excited I was when we received a gravy boat as a wedding gift from our friend Sonya. She sent a few gifts - but the gravy boat was my favorite - and was something I, until that point, had not owned. So, every Thanksgiving I use it and think of our friend and how silly I probably sounded telling her how much I loved the gravy boat - and still do!

No gravy boat? Use a bowl - you don't need a gravy boat to enjoy gravy!


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy 10 large fresh sage leaves 2 bay leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize.

  2. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them.

  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. After the turkey is cooked, remove it to a carving board to rest while you finish the gravy. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the wine. **I forgot this step the first time I made it and just used the gravy from step 1 above without refrigerating. It was fabulous - even without the wine and turkey drippings. I've since made it correctly and it is yummy either way to be honest.**

  7. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up all the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk the gravy base into the pan.

  8. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Enjoy the best gravy ever!

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