Perfect turkey gravy: An easy classic recipe from the 70s

Easy homemade classic turkey gravy

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Want to know how to make the perfect turkey gravy, for Thanksgiving or any other day? Here’s a great classic recipe that is not only tasty, but helps minimize the risk of greasy gravy and lumps of flour.

As a bonus, we also have four delicious gravy variations — easy ways to increase your gravy’s wow factor!

How to make the perfect turkey gravy – plus 4 variations (1976)

From the St. Cloud Times (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) November 17, 1976

As Thanksgiving approaches, plans and preparations for that big meal begin.

For those who are serving turkey, here are instructions for making Perfect Gravy, using a method that separates your roast turkey pan drippings from the fats and juices.

Only a measured amount of fat is used, and the gravy is made in a saucepan instead of in the roasting pan. Those measures eliminate the possibility of greasy gravy and lumps of flour.

Also below, you will also find four delicious ways to make your gravy a little different this year!

MORE: The First Thanksgiving: Recipes for a tasty traditional Thanksgiving dinner (1975)

Delicious perfect turkey gravy in a gravy boat - Vintage recipe
Photo by Elena Veselova |

Classic turkey gravy variations

Wine gravy: Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup very dry vermouth or white wine to the turkey gravy; simmer a few minutes, stirring often.

Creamy turkey gravy: Add 1/2 cup light cream and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon leaf thyme, crumbled; simmer 5 minutes, stirring often.

Giblet turkey gravy: Wash giblets from turkey; place neck, heart and gizzard, in contents of one 13-3/4 ounce can chicken broth; cover and cook 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain, reserving broth for gravy. Chop giblets coarsely.

Sauté liver in 1 tablespoon butter for 5 minutes or until no longer pink; chop coarsely. To skillet, add 1/4 cup chopped scallions; sauté 2 to 3 minutes; stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons dry sherry to deglaze skillet. Add to Perfect Gravy along with giblets and liver; simmer 5 minutes.

Mushroom-herb gravy: In small skillet. in 2 tablespoons butter, sauté 1 small finely chopped onion 2 minutes; add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/2 pound small sliced mushrooms or one 6-to-8 ounce can of sliced or chopped mushrooms, drained.

Sauté, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir into Perfect Gravy; add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Cook 1 to 2 minutes.

ALSO TRY: 20 delicious classic homemade cranberry sauce recipes

Easy homemade perfect turkey gravy

Perfect turkey gravy

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • Turkey pan drippings
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 13-3/4 ounces chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pour drippings through sieve into a 4-cup measure; let stand a minute or two for fat to rise to top; skim off fat and reserve.
  2. Add enough water to juices to make 2 cups.
  3. Measure 1/2 cup of the fat into a saucepan.
  4. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles.
  5. Gradually stir in pan juices and the chicken broth; continue cooking and stirring until gravy thickens and boils 1 minute.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Reduce heat to very low; cover pan; simmer, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes for a very smooth gravy.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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