Easy Turkey Gravy with Sherry is a must when it comes to turkey and mashed potatoes! All you need are pan drippings, a little bit of turkey stock, flour, and a touch of dry sherry to whip up the most flavorful, perfect turkey gravy.
Easy Turkey Gravy with Sherry
We can’t have the best mashed potatoes on the planet at Thanksgiving without a little bit of homemade turkey gravy, now can we?
The turkey gravy may arguably be the easiest of all the Thanksgiving sides, and my Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a big batch of gravy from turkey drippings.
Obviously I completely obliterate my mashed potatoes in turkey gravy, but I also smother my turkey with gravy, mix it with stuffing, and find myself dipping freshly baked rolls into puddles of salty gravy as well.
So basically what I’m saying, is turkey gravy is easily the most versatile dish on the Thanksgiving table.
While I typically serve a standard gravy, today’s version has a secret ingredient that makes it a little bit more special than your average turkey gravy…dry sherry.
I’ve talked about my infatuation with dry sherry many times (in this chicken pot pie and this creamy chicken noodle soup specifically), and it’s no different here. Dry sherry when used in cooking has this wonderful underlying nutty flavor while adding subtle notes of sweetness as well, and I adore it laced throughout a traditional turkey gravy.
Of course, if you want a standard turkey gravy, then you can just leave the sherry out and you’ll still have a perfect turkey gravy made with turkey drippings.
Ingredients in Easy Turkey Gravy with Sherry
Turkey drippings. This is the MOST important step in making the perfect turkey gravy. You could make turkey gravy without drippings, but it won’t have that deep rich flavor you’d get with drippings. Always always save those drippings!
Turkey stock. I like to mimic the flavor of the turkey in the gravy, so I like to use turkey stock. Low-sodium if you can find. You may or may not need it depending on how many drippings your turkey renders. I typically use one cup of drippings and one to two cups of stock.
Flour. You need something to thicken the drippings, and I like my gravy on the thicker side. Flour does the trick.
Dry sherry. Sherry adds a lovely nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with turkey drippings and sliced turkey. It is technically an alcohol, but all the alcohol burns off in the cooking process.
Salt. When you’re only working with a few ingredients, you really need to season properly. Start off by adding how much we call for in the recipe and be sure to season to taste. Your drippings could have more or less salt depending on the recipe you use for your turkey.
How to make easy turkey gravy
Collect the drippings. Pour all of your drippings through a strainer. Dispose of any bits and pieces collected in the strainer. Let the drippings sit in a large measuring cup or bowl for about 10 minutes. Spoon off most of the fat from the top of the drippings. I like to leave about two tablespoons.
Make a slurry. Whisk 1/4 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of room temperature turkey stock.
Reduce the sherry. Add sherry to a medium saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half.
Whisk everything together. Add in enough turkey stock to the drippings to equal 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Add the drippings to the sherry, whisk to combine . Slowly whisk in the the slurry as well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the gravy is thick, about 5-6 minutes.
Season to taste with salt. Taste the gravy, if it needs more salt and pepper, add more. Keep warm in the saucepan over a low heat.
Do I have to strain the drippings?
Unless you like bits and pieces in your gravy, I would definitely strain the drippings. It’s an easy step that doesn’t take much time at all, so I don’t recommend skipping it.
Where can I buy dry sherry?
I buy dry sherry at the liquor store. The stuff you can buy at the grocery store is packed with sodium and not the best quality.
Dry sherry substitute.
If you don’t have dry sherry or don’t want to use it, you can swap it out with dry white wine or even a little bit of brandy. If you don’t buy alcohol at all, just leave it out completely.
Can I use chicken stock?
Yes! Just make sure you use chicken STOCK and not chicken broth. I also make sure to buy low-sodium so I can control the amount of salt that goes in.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- As aforementioned, you can swap out turkey stock for chicken stock
- If your gravy doesn’t thicken up as much as you’d like, whisk another tablespoon of flour with two tablespoons of stock. Whisk it into the gravy. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened. Repeat until you reach your desired thickness.
- Don’t add cold stock to the drippings. You always want to add room temperature or warm liquid to slurries when you’re trying to thicken liquids. Adding very cold liquid to a slurry will stunt the process of thickening.
- 1-2 cups turkey drippings
- 1-2 cups turkey stock
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- measuring cup
- Pour all of your drippings through a strainer. Dispose of any bits and pieces collected in the strainer. Let the drippings sit in a large measuring cup or bowl for about 10 minutes. Spoon off most of the fat off the top of the drippings. I like to leave about two tablespoons.
- Whisk 1/4 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of room temperature turkey stock.
- Add sherry to a medium saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half.
- Add in enough turkey stock to the drippings to equal 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Add the drippings to the sherry, whisk to combine . Slowly whisk in the the slurry as well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the gravy is thick, about 5-6 minutes.
- Taste the gravy, if it needs more salt and pepper, add more. Keep warm in the saucepan over a low heat.