Giblet Gravy

Classic gravy made with the giblets (neck, liver, heart, gizzard) from a turkey or chicken.

We've included the liver in our giblet gravy, which gives it a richer flavor. If you simply cannot abide with even a hint of the taste of liver, you can leave it out. Giblet gravy is usually served "chunky", if you want, you can purée it for a smoother gravy. One traditional option is the addition of chopped hard boiled eggs to the gravy. If you want to try that, chop up 3 hard boiled eggs finely, and add them to the gravy in step 5.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 3 cups of gravy.

Ingredients

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  • Giblets (neck, gizzard, heart, liver) from a turkey (or chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups water
  • Drippings from the turkey or chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour (or 2-3 Tbsp of corn starch, dissolved first into 1/4 cup of water)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons of mustard (yellow or Dijon)

Turkeys and chickens are usually sold with the giblets wrapped in waxed paper or plastic, located inside of the cavity. On a turkey, some of the giblets may be found in the neck cavity as well.

Method

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1 Heat the butter in a 2-quart saucepan on medium-high heat. When hot, add the giblets to the pan. Brown them on all sides.
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2 Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté until the onions turn translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the bay leaf, thyme and water. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, partially cover so that some steam escapes, and cook on a low simmer for several hours, while the turkey (or chicken) is cooking.

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3 Once the bird is close to being done, strain the giblets and stock through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside the stock. Remove the giblets from the sieve. Finely mince the giblet meat. If you want, you can pull some of the meat off of the neck and mince that as well.

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4 Once the bird is done, move it to a cutting board to let it rest. Pour off the excess fat (all but a tablespoon or two) from the roasting pan. Set the roasting pan over two burners of the stovetop set over medium heat. Add the flour (or corn starch slurry) and whisk it into the drippings. Stir in the minced giblets. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring while cooking.

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5 Add the strained giblet stock to the pan drippings and giblets and mix well to combine. Bring to a boil and stir constantly until the gravy thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1-2 teaspoons of mustard (to taste). Check for salt and add more salt to taste if needed. Serve it as-is, or purée the gravy in a blender for a smoother texture.

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Comments

  1. CLcooks

    This sounds remarkably close to the giblet gravy my mom would always make…everything paled in comparison. I took over thanksgiving cooking but could never get her gravy so I can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much.

  2. Christina Bjorndahl

    Sounds delicious! Though I think I’d like the pureed version better, only because I like smooth gravies.

    My favourite recipe for giblets is to saute them with onions in olive oil, and then add them to salad with red leaf lettuce, tomato and romano cheese… Heaven!

  3. Susan

    Yum! I agree with you, the giblets are some of the best parts! I’m definitely going to try out this recipe!

  4. Khanh Nguyen

    Looks delicious!!

  5. doodles

    Our family recipe is almost a carbon copy of yours with one exception we don’t put garlic in our giblet gravy. We will be preparing our Thanksgiving meal this Saturday because it is the only day we can all be together as a family. Hoping you enjoy your Thankful day Elise.

  6. Margaret

    Excellent! Getting over the “ick” factor of seeing my meat in its non “mechanically separated” form gave me a greater respect for the animals that gave their lives so that my family may feast. Many westerners cannot stomach the idea of handling animal organs, which is a pity because I believe witnessing animal carcass become food gives you a bit of a connection with what you’re eating.

    Giblet gravy is delish.

  7. angie

    This is what I do and what my mom did, but we don’t put the giblets in the gravy. The kids wouldn’t eat it if we did, but it makes wonderful stock! As it is we chop up the liver and put it in the stuffing and the kids always ask if there is any liver in it. We say no and they can’t tell the difference

  8. Herring

    My favorite gravy is my grandmother’s mushroom giblet gravy. She simply simmered the giblets in a saucepan whilst the turkey cooked. Then she scooped them out and chopped them up and put them back in the stock water. Then she added the pan drippings, with the fat removed. A can of cream of mushroom was whisked in. In a separate skillet she sauteed diced onion, fresh sliced mushrooms, and garlic, then added them to the gravy. Last to go in was a few diced hard-boiled eggs and salt & pepper. Nothing beats it in my book. I’d eat it like soup in a bowl (which it basically was) later on, with buttered bread dipped in it.

  9. Katrina

    Mmm gravy rocks my world.

  10. Roe

    For anyone who thinks their family will cringe at the thought of eating the giblets can just puree them as I do. I simply cook them in water with celery and onions until done, when cool, I cut up the meat and add it to my blender with the water, celery & onions they were cooked in. The gravy is so flavorful with the added drippings and no one will ever know your “secret”.

  11. Mary

    Great to have a good recipe for giblet gravy – thanks for breaking it down so well :)
    Mary x

  12. Pam

    I took many cooking classes years ago and the teacher added a whole onion with its brown “peelings” still intact and about 1/4 C. fresh cider vinegar to the stock to be used for gravy. The other ingredients were quite standard.

  13. Marian

    Herring and Roe both do what I’d do, thanks for the idea of pureeing the giblets Roe. I’d have only used the flavored stock before! : ) I also love adding mushrooms to my gravies and soups, the more the merrier!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING All!

  14. JO

    I have always made giblet gravy just remembering the way my grandmother made it,
    which is somewhat like yours. However, it was good to see an actual recipe. I also love the gizzard, heart, liver and the neck. The neck especially was my mother’s favorite. I know you have to be careful about the gravy. You just cannot mention what it is made of. I too puree everything. I’ll try adding the egg this year and see how everyone likes it. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Bev Weidner

    That looks incredible. AND I love the word GIBLET so it’s a win-win.

  16. Joanna

    Sigh. This reminds me of home and growing up as well. I needed that visual today. Thanks! I also never really learned the art of making this, so I’m saving into my Evernote Recipes file – on my bucket list of items to make. I’m grateful for your blog!!!

  17. Jackie

    Hmmm…I’ve always made gravy from the giblets with roast chicken and turkey, but it never occured to me brown them first. Thanks for the great tip, Elise!

  18. Chris

    Love that you highlighted this style of gravy. Salvadoran gravy is also made with the giblets, and added extras of tomatoes, capers, and olives. My wife and I are having our first Thanksgiving together, and this is the one thing I am insisting on carrying into our new traditions. Best of all, next day Pan con Pavo sandwiches made with the leftover turkey, gravy, and fresh veggies, including radishes, on fresh baked french style bollitos. Makes you just gobble it up!

    • Jim Jensen

      Chris,

      Although I’m a gringo, I have to comment. The crunchy rolls you mention are bolillos. Bollito is an Italian beef stew, I believe.

  19. ChiLIbrarian

    My grandmother used to freeze chicken giblets so she had enough come Thanksgiving or Christmas to add to her stuffing as well as the gravy. Sooo good. I could never figure out why mine wasn’t as good as hers. It was her secret so we kids would still eat it!

    • Jim Jensen

      In South Louisiana people used to save giblets to make “Dirty Rice”. I first tasted it in the school cafeteria. These days most folks cheat and use Zatarains mix with ground beef. Either way, it’s a great side dish.

  20. Stephanie

    This is very similar to our family recipe, but we don’t serve it with the giblets. We also add a couple hard boiled eggs.

  21. Karrie

    I Love Love Love giblet gravy! My father was the cook in our house and he made it every year, but he never showed us how to do it. So I had to guess once I moved out and started having our own Thanksgiving. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to add veggies to the stock.(even though I make wonderful soups) I just add the giblets, water and poultry seasonings. I will give this a try next time I make a turkey. Unfortunately Thanksgiving is not at my house this year. I love to cook a turkey, but I will not wait for Christmas to cook one for my household. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. dlynettef

    Is it giblet, with a “g”, like give; or giblet with a “j” like gin?

    That would be giblet with a “j” like gin. ~Elise

  23. Julie @BananasForBourbon

    Your mouthwatering photos are making me hungry for Thanksgiving! Thank you for identifying the different parts. Definitely invaluable info. ;)

    You know what I want to know? Why don’t fryer chickens from the store come with giblets?! I feel like I’m missing out on prime gravy opportunity every time I roast a dang chicken. Probably the stores take them out to sell separately? Or sell to dog food companies? lol! What a waste!

  24. J.

    My family has also done the cream of mushroom soup version mentioned above (with hard boiled eggs). I was actually wondering why. My mother and grandmother were excellent cooks, but this was one of the rare times that they used canned soup. The only thing I could think of is that our pan drippings go into the cornbread dressing. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about how (or why) this canned soup “gravy” came about.

  25. Nina

    I make giblet gravy every time I make a turkey but I have never, ever browned the giblets and neck first. For sure, I will from now on.

    All I can say is “do’h!!”

  26. MARSHA

    At my store they have these huge gizzards, necks, and hearts you can buy separately. They are sooo big they must come from some pre-historic bird. I buy a couple of pkgs of them for my stock.

  27. AG Wright

    Mom’s giblet gravy is very similar to your recipe except for no onion, dad and I can’t eat them, and no bay leaf. Definitely chunky with eggs.
    We cook a hen the day before for extra giblets, meat for the dressing and extra stock. You can never have too much stock.
    My job is to cut up the neck because mom doesn’t like her hands to be quite that messy and my opinion on messy hands is that they will wash.

  28. Jenny

    I had not heard of giblet gravy until seeing this post (pathetic, I see now, apparently it’s well known and popular) and am really excited to try it this year! I too am trying to get over the ick factor of more in-depth/connected meat handling such as cooking organ meat and using chicken feet in stock (neither of which I’ve done yet). I think this is a great recipe to start giving that a shot, while meditating on how thankful I am the turkey gave his life for us to eat this year. I also hate waste and throwing that stuff out has always seemed stupid to me. I guess worst case scenario I will know to include it in my stock in the future. Thank you for posting this in time for turkey day this year! All the other positive comments about it are really motivating me to try it too. Cheers!

  29. Jules

    Turkey gravy is not gravy if it doesn’t contain the liquid from simmering the giblets with veggies and herbs all day. I used to beg to eat the neck as a kid. We don’t chop them up and put them into the gravy itself, but the liquid gives such depth of flavor. My friends thought I was crazy-until they tried it.

  30. Chicbaker123

    I have never ever heard of giblet gravy before. In fact, the only time we actually have gravy is when my parents pick up a bucket of fried chicken at KFC. Our whole family loves the giblets and we always split them up every time we have a homemade chicken or turkey. The gizzards and the heart are the best because they are chewy. For chicken giblets, we like dipping the chicken and giblets in a sauce made with finely chopped ginger, scallions, cilantro, olive oil, and salt mixed together. Yum! I can’t wait till Thanksgiving-Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

  31. Juliebelle6491

    I’ve been the official “gravy Maker” for my extended family for 30+ years. It’s a labor of love for me. I begin the turkey thaw with the giblets and chicken pieces/parts in a soup pot with onion – cut in dice – celery ribs – cut in chunks, and garlic cloves all thrown in the pot first to saute in some oil then to be covered with white wine and broth and simmered all day. My favorite part is the neck. Turkey neck meat is the sweetest most savory of all. It’s all I can do to keep my paws off the neck till it’s cooked. I pick the neck then throw the meat back in the stock pot. When the turkey’s done and all that beautiful fond is in the bottom of the roasting pan I deglaze the pot with white wine – good enough to drink – and get all those beautiful flavorful bits off the bottom. Then we ladle rich days old stock in to the roasting pan. I thicken if necessary with a slurry of Wondra Flour and cold water mixed well. Use a wand blender and all the wonderful pieces of liver, gizzard, neck meat, etc., are incorporated into the most wonderful liquid you ever put into your mouth. All I ever add at that point is a bit of salt and pepper. All my family members bring a large bowl to bring home thier gravy for left overs later. Happy Thanksgiving, Yall and an early Merry Christmas!!! Gotta go get my extra turkey neck for the gravy…

  32. Judy

    Never tried this with chopped eggs, and never added mustard or garlic. Sounds interesting. We add rubbed sage and black pepper to our recipe, and since our family loves onions, we like to add carmelized onions to the finished gravy just prior to serving. We definitely brown the giblets before simmering with the veggies, but instead of using all water for the simmering liquid, we add a cup of low-salt chicken broth for extra flavor. I really enjoy reading the comments below each recipe on this site and find many interesting ideas from other readers. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  33. Herb

    I learned from my mom to cook the gizzards & heart in a pressure cooker; very moist & tender & quick.
    Liver goes into the cornbread dressing. The neck I brown then boil (stock),de-bone, chop & add to the dressing. My primary stock is derived from chicken thighs that I brown then boil, de-bone, chop & add to the dressing. I also trim the extra skin from the turkey and add to the stock pot.
    The best part of the Thanksgiving turkey is the carcass and waste parts and pieces boiled as stock for Friday’S turkey/andouille gumbo. But that’s another recipe!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

  34. Lori

    What interesting comments – especially those who’ve never heard of “giblet gravy.” I have never known any other way to make gravy…we have always just called this “gravy”! I don’t understand how one *would* make gravy without the giblets! I always use all of the giblets (unless my father would ask me to fish out a part of the liver for him to hide in a corner and eat by himself) as well as the neck meat. For the past 15 years or so, I’ve been adding 1/2 to 1 c. of cooking Sherry — everyone raves when I do; gives a lovely flavor. I have never used boiled eggs and think I’ll pass on this suggestion. I also use Roux (butter and flour), heated together until smooth to thicken instead of corn starch or flour and water. Makes it a bit richer. I pour off the pan drippings into a gravy/fat separator so I use little of the turkey fat. I like the butter taste – it is less greasy. One idea from this recipe I’m going to try is to puree the mixture. I love the idea of a smooth gravy with all this flavor! Happy Thanksgiving!

  35. KimH

    I love giblet gravy and that combined with cornbread dressing is what my Thanksgiving meal is all about. ;)

    I make it as my grandmother did. I boil the giblets in chicken or turkey broth, with onions & celery if you want. I always eat the heart, but everything else gets chopped up fine & put back in the broth.
    We add cream of chicken soup to the broth to make the gravy and chop up a couple boiled eggs in it as well.

    My grandmother often would make a roux and add the broth & giblets to it for her gravy, but often extended it with the cream of chicken soup and over the years, I just make it with cream of chicken soup.
    ITs fast, its easy & its tasty!

  36. Jilly

    My husband says everything tastes better with gravy. This one sounds great enough to try. I would usually cook my giblets for our beloved cocker spaniel, maybe this year she only gets a bite.

  37. Franj

    Glad to see that giblet gravy is a big hit..At our house I have to make “Northern” turkey gravy and “Southern ” Turkey gravy, which is the giblet kind. I cook the liver, gizzard, heart and neck in a 2 qt sauce pan with a stock made from 2-3 chicken boullion cubes. When the meat is tender after an hour or so, I debone the neck meat, chop the liver, heart and gizzard and add back to the stock. Add a little pepper and thicken it with cornstarch mixed with cold water. Bring back to a boil and add 2 chopped hard boiled eggs…( Which by the way is a southern thing!) My mom is from Tennessee and this is how they did it. The Northern gravy is made with a little turkey broth, drippings etc and seasoned and thickened with a flour roue. ( Flour and warm water mixed and slowly stirred in the hot turkey mix.) And then everyone is happy!!!

  38. Precious1026

    I do love Giblet Gravy, but I am not too sure about the mustard. Thanksgiving is feast that is governed by the Onion, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Cinnamon,Nutmeg,Ginger and Vanilla. Mustard is a July 4, or Labor Day spice. Perhap, one day I might give the mustard a chance, because the other ingredients sure sound appetizing. Have a Happy Holiday…

    Whatever. ~Elise

  39. Nevadamtnbear

    Elise,

    I am so in love with giblet gravy. Though, not because we don’t like the flavor of liver, but because I want to make a pâté (by the way, thanks for the Twitter feedback – your recipe is in the top 3 running) out of the big beautiful livers we got from the two turkey we butchered yesterday.

    After butchering our own turkey, I will never be able to look at the sorry sack of giblets in a store bought turkey the same. Our home grown turkey necks are HUGE, the liver is giant, the gizzard so beautiful, the heart, so big and fresh. The store bag just looks like a cheap knock-off.

    I think I’m going to purée part of the gravy this year. I feel like a mix, a little chunk and a little smooth. Haha, the beauty of being able to do anything.

  40. Lisa

    I use a very simple recipe that my family has used for many years.

    The gravy is a great job for someone who wants to help but you want out of the way or staying in one place.

    First you must buy a turkey much larger than the number of people you are going to feed because we make gravy by the vat, or so it seems, and you need a lot of drippings to make a huge pot of gravy. Be sure to baste the tureky a few times with butter so the butter will mix with the turkey fat. The giblets simmer in plain water all day while the turkey cooks.

    1. Discard the heart and gizzard. Pull off and shred the neck meat. Slice the liver into small thin slices or pieces. Set aside.

    2. Thinly slice all boiled eggs (including yolks) that have been discarded as being visually inferior from shelling for deviled eggs. We usually have about 4 eggs that weren’t deemed good enough in looks. Set aside with giblets.

    3. Dump ALL of the fat and drippings from the turkey into a large pot. Add however much flour is necessary to make a thin paste. Stir constantly with a whisk until all flour lumps are gone.

    4. Add a few ladles of the hot giblet water to the paste. Stir for a minute or so.

    5. Add some milk, a little at a time while whisking until the gravy is the consistency you want it to be. You can use whatever kind of milk you like. If you like a thinner, less creamy gravy, use skim or 2%. Tastes the same, just has a different consistency.

    6. Keep stirring, adding milk. As it thickens, add more milk and more milk. Then add a few ladles of the giblet stock. Keep adding milk and stock until you think the gravy looks the way you want it.

    7. Add the giblets and boiled eggs and stir until they are heated again. Add more stock and milk if necessary.

    Do not add any seasoning. People can add the salt and pepper to taste at the table. The seasoning for the gravy cmes from the seasonings that were in the stuffing baked inside the turkey and the turkey drippings.

    Leftover gravy can be thinned with more milk the next day, just be sure to wait until it has heated before adding any liquid though because it will thin out as it reheats.

  41. Melissa Brown

    We made this gravy for Thanksgiving, and it was the highlight of the meal. We pureed it, as non of us wanted a chunky gravy. It was such a beautiful brown color and the flavor was out of this world. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  42. Jenny

    I made this, my first time cooking organ meats at all and one of my first times eating them too! It came out great, it was my favourite dish of the night and I was proud of my tiny culinary adventure. I even shared some with the dog, very special treat. I will be making this every year!

  43. Kathleen

    Elise, thank you for this recipe. My boyfriend loves to mince the giblets etc. then saute them in a lot of butter and add them in the dressing. I begged him to let me make this gravy, and after a lot of back and forth, he finally let me! It was perhaps the best tasting gravy I think I have ever had! Everyone else agreed with me. (As I was reading some of the other comments however, I remembered that I forgot the mustard! I’ll just have to roast a chicken and make the gravy again!) Again, thank you for all of your recipes. (I made your moms roasted turkey and the honey thyme ham also! SSOOO GOOD!)

  44. Linda Bartolucci

    I’m so happy you posted this. My daughter has celiacs and this will be a great way to make gravy for her. I’m thinking I could do it with chicken parts too:) Thanks!

  45. Janice Hartwig

    I learned to make giblet gravy from watching and oh yes, eating my Grandmother’s giblet gravy. Each year she would put on quite the spread for Thanksgiving and Christmas but when we walked through her door, the wonderful auroma of that gibet gravy caused immediate mouth watering. I made it for my own family and I’m still making it. I wouldn’t dare lay out a holiday spread without it. My grandmother cut the giblets and also hard boilded eggs. She started her base with bacon grease. She added celery,onios, green onions, and sweet peppers as well. The best! We all loved it and we still do.

  46. Sammy G

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! My bird was seasoned with paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, so my gravy came out spicy (especially with Dijon mustard), and ohh so good. Poured the gravy over everything- even my fried potatoes, much to hubby’s dismay (his food can’t touch, as a rule). Will be writing this down in my little cookbook to keep forever.