How to make turkey giblet gravy like a real Southerner

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Gravy sometimes is overlooked during the cooking process but it is the unsung hero of holiday meals. You do it right and no one thinks about it. You do it wrong and everyone is disappointed. This smooth giblet gravy makes everything better, from the turkey to the cornbread dressing (recipe) to the mashed potatoes.

This is a recipe that was passed down from my wonderful mother, Betty. Hope you enjoy. And make sure to check out my other Thanksgiving recipes.

Header image via Angie’s Southern Kitchen and used in accordance with the Creative Common license agreement.

Turkey Giblet Gravy

  • Difficulty: easy to medium
  • Print


  • medium sauce pan
  • dutch oven
  • wooden spoon
  • paring knife


  • turkey giblets (remove from inside the turkey cavities and rinse)
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 whole onion, halved
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
  • 1 whole carrot
  • 1 lemon, cut into halves
  • sprig of rosemary
  • spring of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Salt, pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth, extra 2-3 cups for roux
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil


In saucepan, cook giblets, 4 cups of broth, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, juice from half a lemon and a dash of salt/pepper. Cover and simmer at least an hour. Taste and adjust seasonings.

In another medium pan, make a blonde roux – heat the oil, then add the flour and whisk constantly until it’s the color of coffee with cream (probably 15-20 mins). Remove from heat. (FYI – this is the same roux I make for my gumbo)

Carefully whisk in 2-3 cups of broth to ensure you eliminate lumps. Add more broth if the mixture is too thick. It should be a “pour-able” consistency.

Before you pour the roux/broth into the giblet/veggie mix, strain the solids from the giblet pot. Retain liquid, then pour into your broth-roux. Whisk well. Taste and adjust salt. Squeeze the other lemon half and add a little more pepper. Serve hot in a gravy boat for your guests to spoon over dressing and turkey slices.

Come back to for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at

Click here for previous recipes from Patsy.

Creative Commons License
This work by Patsy R. Brumfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

5 thoughts on “How to make turkey giblet gravy like a real Southerner

  1. Pingback: How to make cornbread dressing like a real Southerner | New in NOLA

  2. Rhonda says:

    Hey Patsy, what do you do with the carrot? Is it chopped up, or just cooked in the pot and then removed (like when cook dried beans)? And, the springs of rosemary & thyme – are they removed after cooking with the straining process, or chopped up and remain in the gravy?

  3. Pingback: How to make homemade chicken-vegetable soup like a real Southerner | New in NOLA

  4. Pingback: How to brine a turkey for a Thanksgiving feast | New in NOLA

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