Recipes Side Dishes Sauces Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sage

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sage

In Garten explains that no one wants to stand around hoping their gravy won’t be lumpy at the moment the turkey comes out of the oven. With this recipe that will never happen! The gravy base can be simmered up to a week ahead with onions, sage and Cognac and whisked into the pan after the turkey is done.


  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick/90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 6 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) good chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 Tbs. Cognac or brandy
  • 10 large fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 tsp. salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock) and 1 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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. 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. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and serve hot. Makes 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l).

Make It Ahead: Make the gravy base and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Ina Garten, Make It Ahead (Clarkson Potter, 2014)