Gravy for Thanksgiving Turkey (with Gluten and Dairy-Free Alternative)

The final step for making the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey is making gravy from the pan drippings (the first was to brine the turkey and the second was to roast the perfect turkey). To make a gluten and wheat free gravy, simply substitute Xanath gum in place of all-purpose flour.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour or 1/4 tsp of xatham gum (wheat and gluten free)
  • pan drippings from the roasted turkey
  • 1/2 cup dry white white wine (preferably something other than Chardonnay)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. When the turkey is done, pour the pan drippings into a bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the roux: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the flour all at once, whisking until it is incorporated. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until it begins to look grainy. If you are using the arrowroot flour, it should become clear as it cooks. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. To deglaze the roasting pan: Place the roasting pan over high heat and add the wine. Bring the wine to a boil and scrape the browned bits from the bottom. Add a little water as needed to incorporate the browned bits.
  4. Add the deglazed drippings to the pan drippings in the bowl. Skim off the fat with a spoon. Alternatively, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, then simply remove the fat once it congeals on the top. You can do this while the turkey is resting for carving.
  5. To put the gravy together:
    1. In a pot, bring the 3 cups of broth to a simmer. Slowly the broth to the now room temperature roux in the skillet, whisking constantly.
    2. Add reserved drippings slowly, starting with a few tablespoons; taste, then whisk in more, a little at a time, until the gravy tastes right to you. Season with black pepper, if needed.
    3. To adjust the consistency, add more broth or simmer for a few minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

How Not to Screw It Up

  1. You need to use unsalted butter and low sodium chicken broth. The pan drippings from a brined turkey should contain the right amount of salt you will need for a good gravy. You don’t need the butter or chicken broth to bring more.
  2. For the wine, it is best to use non-oaked wines. Chardonnay brings too much oaky flavor (especially California chardonnay) and can over power the taste of the gravy. I suggest using sauvignon blanc or a pinot gris/pinot grigio.
  3. You must keep whisking the gravy when you add the broth to the roux. No one wants lumpy gravy. Fast, even whisking should prevent this–especially whisking over where lumps start to form.
  4. If your final product does contain some small lumps, you can run it quickly through a blender to smooth it out.